NPR news accidentally wins social media with a huge mistake

Winning social media in the most accidental way possible:

Yes; the title of this post is a lot to take in, however, all will be revealed!

NPR news is, you guessed, a huge news outlet based out in America.

Before we go into what happened, it’s important to have a little context. If you’ve seen any news recently, it’s all been negative; with the recent attack in Las Vegas making the headlines.

Times like these require solidarity and positivity.

For some strange reason, the following (accidental) status update from NPR news provided just that, which had people singing their praises:

 

Ramona NPR news update
 

About 12 minutes later the man who posted this out mistakenly, Christopher Dean Hopkins, quickly edited the status to:

 

Ramona NPR news update edit
 

It was already too late though. People had screenshotted, shared, commented and liked the status already.
Mr Hopkins meant to post this from his personal account and the status was about his daughter.

It seems like people just needed something “feel good” after all the doom and gloom recently. Here’s how people reacted:

 



 

It’s even going as far as readers demanding to see more of Ramona:

 

Hashtags such as #ramonaupdates, #bringbackramona and #ramonaforever were also circulating on Twitter.

It doesn’t stop there though, someone started a petition for more Ramona content and a raise for Christopher.

You can sign that right here: https://www.change.org/p/npr-org-a-ramona-story-and-a-raise

And that’s how the story of the most accidental amazing social media of all time came about. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this blog!

Twitter 280 character tweets – what you need to know

Users aren’t happy about the new Twitter 280 character tweets…

In a nutshell, the twittersphere is mostly opposed to the idea.

Twitter has already begun trialling 280-character tweets with many famous personalities and celebrities across the platform, most of which aren’t fond of the idea themselves.

Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter) gave this official statement:

 

 

Previously, Twitter had loosened up the character count restriction by excluding images/GIFs/videos from taking up 24 characters. This was welcomed as it didn’t really change Twitter’s core concept of 140 characters.

However; doubling the character count and changing what made Twitter, Twitter, is making people unhappy to say the least.

 

How did people react?

Here’s how some Twitter users reacted.

WARNING – Get ready for some seriously witty comments:

 

We did warn you…

Why aren’t people happy?

Here are some of the reasons why Twitter users aren’t happy.

 

Twitter is losing its originality:

Some would say Twitter’s defining feature is the fact that users must articulate themselves with the limited 140 characters they’re given. Take this away, Twitter loses its originality…simple.

The whole concept of Twitter is to say what you need to say in the most efficient manner possible. The 140 character limit is its defining feature and, without it, it just wouldn’t be the same.

 

More annoying:

Twitter is a very fast-moving platform. Your Tweet is probably only visual on someone’s timeline for a few seconds. Unfortunate, but that’s how the Twitter algorithm works.

Now, imagine the same number of saturated Tweets, only double the size on your phone. It could prove to be very annoying for users.

 

Double the spam:

Twitter users have been begging for less spam on the platform, however; they’ve just been given 280 characters instead.

It portrays Twitter as a company who simply doesn’t listen which causes much frustration.

 

More Hate speech:

Hate speech is another issue with the social media platform. This issue was certainly raised when Twitter rolled out beta testing for 280 characters…see examples below:

 

Donald Trump:

Lastly, some users are just annoyed that Donald Trump is allowed 140 MORE characters to offend people on Twitter…a fair complaint.

 

 

Well then…

A huge reason FOR the Twitter 280 character tweets

Whilst most of the comments were negative, a handful of people made a really good point.

 


German is one of many languages with longer words that articulate the same points. This new update would work in favour of those non-English speaking users.

What should Twitter do?

It’s no secret that Twitter is in danger. Facebook just surpassed 2 billion users whilst Twitter is just shy of 350 million users.

In this time of peril, they need to be careful. People are afraid of change, but you can always make the shift a little easier with some reassurance.

A lot of users are under the impression that the glory days are over. Is this the end of witty responses, short news updates and more?

It certainly isn’t; but it’s obvious that this will usher in a new dawn for Twitter.

They’re making room for something new and that’s not a bad thing. Perhaps this new change would be received better if people understood what they were getting in to.

There’s only really one way to find out, and that’s to wait until this 280 character count is rolled out to everyone.

You have to admire the gamble Twitter are taking, let’s hope it works out for the best.

What do you think is the smartest move for the social giant? 

How to Deal with Trolls – The Human Equivalent of the Poop Emoji!

I hate it when you pour your heart and soul into something, only for someone to come along and squish it – the trolls!

 

I like to think of them as the human equivalent of the poop emoji – not that pleasant to look at, but really not a big deal!

 

I recently spoke with a client who received negative comments on her social posts, and she asked for my advice – the inspiration for this blog!

 

So how do you deal with them, those tiny little do-doos – let me help!

 

Ignore The Trolls

 

This is really, really, really, really, REALLY obvious, but I have to make this point. Trolls are looking for attention, to provoke an emotion from you – if you respond, they get what they want!

 

Don’t Provide The Trolls a Platform

 

If you’ve got a blog, and you’re getting nasty comments, just turn the comments off for a little while. Or if you really want to keep the commenting option open, make sure any comment has to be moderated

 

Listen to Them

 

It may not be what you want to hear, but sometimes you need to look at what they’re saying and distinguish the difference between a complaint from an angry customer, and a troll.

 

If it’s the former, you need to look and listen for improvements. If it’s the latter, you better get deleting!

 

Have a Laugh with Them

 

Sometimes you just have to laugh at a situation and make a joke out of it!

 

You just to go to Twitter to see a number of businesses that try to make a joke with the trolls, not giving in to their negative behaviour.

 

It doesn’t work for everyone, but have a go if you meet a Troll!

How To Decide The Right Social Media Platform For Your Business

So if you’re reading this, you’re interested in getting your Business on Social Media, which is good. It also means your Business should be!

It also means your Business isn’t on Social Media right now, and it should be!

However, it can be really hard to choose which profiles to put your business onto. Do you stick faithfully to one social media platform, or do you branch out into all of them?

I can offer you 4 tips to help you choose the best profile for you.

They are:

ASK YOURSELF AN IMPORTANT QUESTION

You need to look at each profile individually and think “Is this worth my time?”

You can’t be wasting your time with Instagram if you’re not a visual profile, or Twitter if you can’t deal with Customers.

Do you have the available resources, both your workforce and budget, to use that platform is also something to consider.

 

DON’T SIGN UP FOR EVERYTHING STRAIGHT AWAY

So you’ve got Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube to choose from – emphasis on CHOICE.

Just because you have all those platforms doesn’t mean you need to be on all of them!

Wouldn’t you rather be amazing at 1 or 2 profiles that rubbish at all of them?

 

PLAN PLAN PLAN!

If you’re still unsure about what profiles to go on – make a plan!

Those plans for each platform should be able to help you decide which are more achievable for you to use.

Don’t think you’re wasting your time though – those plans might come in useful later on. Once you’ve mastered a Social profile, you can start to think if you need to bring in more – and you’ll have those plans ready to use!

 

STICK WITH THE HUNT!

I guarantee you that you won’t be able to just choose your Social profiles straight away. You need to have a real think about your options.

You have to “hunt” your profiles essentially – stalk them and find its positives.

Remember that being on too many social media channels can affect your productivity and your results.

Knowing which platforms to focus on can really help your business.

How to Manage Social Media Accounts Without Looking Lazy

We’ve all been there – it’s the beginning of the week and you need to manage your Social Media Accounts – and that means planning your social posts for the time ahead. You’ve got two options:

  1. Spend time curating unique individual posts for your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, with a special image for your Instagram profile. Or,
  2. Create one post and share across all your social profiles at the same time, to show uniformity

So what’s your choice? Do you want a unique look, or do you want uniformity?

To be honest, there’s no right answer to this one.

The best answer to this depends on your Business, but I would tend to mix the two. I’m going to share with you some tips on how to manage your social media accounts without looking lazy!

Why Do You Need Social Media Management?

Your Social Media channels, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn etc, are the front facing part of your Business, regardless of size.

If someone wants to know more about you, I bet they’ll look on your Facebook profile!

You need to make sure your Social Media show the best of your Business, and what you want to be!

If you don’t manage them, it says a lot about how much you care about your image.

How to Cheat Your Way to a Better Profile – Social Media Management Apps

You know those people that always seem to be able to post about 8 times a day like it’s literally the only thing they do 24/7?

They’re cheating – they’re using a Social Media Management App.

Want to know how I know? Because I do it too!

It’s honestly the best thing I can suggest to help give you the best chance at making sure your Social Media profiles are on point.

Social Media Management Apps are designed to streamline the process of appearing online at all times. They make sure you post regularly and can help you track what posts work, and which ones to leave behind.

All you do is write, set a date and time to post and Voila! You’re sorted for the week!

How to Not Look Lazy On Social Media

Ok so back to the main point. You don’t want to look lazy, but you can be lazy if that makes sense.

Create yourself a batch of posts, all different styles like pictures, external articles, and links to your own page, and then create different posts for different platforms.

You know they link to the same place, your audience knows they lead to the same place – but if they follow you on multiple platforms, they don’t want to read the same thing again and again!

Scatter the posts across your profiles. If you’re sending out a Motivational Quote on Facebook on Monday, maybe send it on Twitter on Thursday? It’s as simple as that!

How to Bring Your Social Media Profiles Together

 

While chatting to some budding Business men and women in Bamboo Zone, a couple of interesting questions were raised that I felt needed some due attention:

  • How do you bring your Social Media profiles together?
  • What social profiles are best for your business?

Now these are both huge topics in themselves, and so I’ll focus on the first point this week, and go into more detail about the second in the next blog – for the sake of fairness!

So what does it mean to bring all of your Social Media profiles together? It could mean several things, like bringing your audience into one central location, or it could mean uniformity between all of your profiles. I like to believe it’s the latter, as this will help with the former!

So how do you unify your Social Media? Is it content, images, audience numbers? Let’s take a look at what you can do to bring some unity to your profiles:

 

Your Name

This one seems an obvious suggestion, but you would be surprised how many businesses make such a rookie mistake!

If someone is searching for you on Twitter and sees that your username is @MyBusiness, the likeliness is, is that they are now going to look for you on Facebook or Instagram with the same name.

If your username suddenly switches to @My_Business_123 on Instagram, and then @TheBusiness on Facebook, your audience is going to have a hard time keeping up with you!

If you’re struggling to get your name on one profile (say you’ve got @MyBusiness for Facebook but it’s taken elsewhere) try and stick to the original name as much as possible, or make a point of showing off your other profiles on that Facebook profile, so your customers know where to look!

 

Your Profile Picture/Cover Photo

This is also another obvious point (sorry), but it is vitally important that your profile pictures match across all your Social Media profiles.

I cannot stress how important this is without jumping out from this computer and shaking you until the point has sunk in.

Your profile picture is the first thing your customers are going to see, so your image not only needs to be of great quality, but also needs to be the same across all your profiles.

The same can be said for any profile with a Cover Photo. This is a great place to show off what your business does, so go for it!

Both images need to be the correct dimensions which are:

Social Media Profile Profile Picture Size Cover Photo Size
Facebook 170 x 170 pixels 820 x 312 pixels
Twitter 400 x 400 pixels 1500 x 500 pixels
Instagram 110 x 100 pixels N/A
LinkedIn 400 x 400 pixels 1536 x 768 pixels

 

You’re welcome!

Bringing your Social Media profiles together through this imagery of your logo and message will help your customers find your profiles, say if you can’t get the same Username information for each profile!

 

Your Content (it’s a tricky one!)

Now the reason this is a tricky one is that this is where you need to decide what level of uniformity you want from your profiles.

I wouldn’t recommend having the same posts go out across all your Social Media profiles because that means that you’re putting out duplicate content, and your customers aren’t going to like that!

Lots of company profiles find that having an individual niche for each profile vital to their branding. They’ll use Facebook for sharing company news, blogs, updates etc, while Twitter will be used for customer service and then Instagram is used for funny content related to their field.

All these areas are individual, but come together to create a whole image of a company!

While some choose to share the same content across all their profiles, they’ll change the wording so that the content appears different for each profile – plus schedule them for different days, so it’s not the same on each profile each day.

 

Your Imagery

This one all depends on your content strategy. If you decide to go down the path of sharing the same content but on different days, you need to make sure the imagery is consistent.

You also need to make sure it’s the best quality images you can find. No one wants to view a blurry image of your team celebrating a new product launch. Customers like pretty images and are more likely to share them if they are.

As for the consistency element, sometimes it is good to mix it up across the profiles, but to present a unified front, it’s best to stick to the same image’s profile to profile.

 

How It All Comes Together

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together – don’t worry that will be my only A-Team reference…

There has been a point to all this, and why all these little points mean that your profiles are unified. When you profiles are in sync with the all right images, content and names, your business presents itself as an organised and trusted organisation, which should help bring in more customers.

It also helps when directing customers to a specific source. Do you want more traffic to your Facebook group? Give them a reason to go there, with consistency across your Social Media, and building trust with your followers.

Once that trust has been built, you can take your audience anywhere. And that trust comes from consistent and unified Social Media profiles!

 

Like what you’re seeing? Let us know in the comments!

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Charities using digital – why isn’t it happening?

Why aren’t charities using digital?

The charity sector has, and will likely continue to, play a huge part of Britain. This is reflected through British values and backed up by facts such as:

  • The UK being the most generous country in Europe.
  • The UK’s position in the top 10 for most generous countries.

Charities need to take a digital leap of faith, as the majority do not utilise digital tools within their marketing strategies to help them grow.

As it stands, the average adult in the U.K spends between 8 to 9 hours on social media a day, this alone shows the importance of social media.

smartphone
To you and I, the process of setting up and running social media accounts may sound simple. However, for numerous charities, this is something they are anxious to explore.

This is the case for almost 50% of charities in the U.K, who have no forms of digital strategy whatsoever. Those who do, do not have a strategy for the long term.

Charities are missing out on potential fundraising from vast communities online, which is problematic.

ALS Challenge

We have seen the success of viral social media marketing in the case of the Ice bucket challenge, raising money for ALS.

It added an element of fun into the mix, whereby people would pour a bucket of ice water on themselves, video it, then nominate friends/family to partake too. Furthermore, this medium of marketing was perfect when targeting millennials (Generation Y), with the results speaking for themselves.

Prior to the #IceBucketChallenge, the ALS foundation achieved $3 million in donations. That number increased significantly to reach $100 million the following year.

Here’s a great video showing the heights of the ALS challenge’s success:

What needs to be done

The charity sector needs to adapt to the up and coming generation to prosper. According to the Digital skills report:

by 2027, 68% of their respondents believe the charity sector will change due to digital.

However, that is 10 years away and this change needs to happen much sooner.

Generation Z (those born after 2000) need to be won with “imagination and emotions” argues Kantar Millard Brown.

Digital media can be used for storytelling, as it is easier to put across emotion through an image/video.

Syria 360

A perfect example of this is “Syria 360”, created by Amnesty International. With the help of a VR (Virtual Reality) headset it threw the user in to what the people of Syria are experiencing, which they would be able to see and hear. This campaign went on to win “Digital Innovation of the Year 2016” from Third Sector Awards and increased Amnesty International’s direct debit sign ups by 9%…

Charities still aren’t putting enough resources towards digital and social. We live in an age where we meet, buy, sell, online. Charities can’t afford to be left behind and miss out on many years’ worth of opportunity.

Facebook stories update coming soon and MORE!

The team down at Snapchat must be fuming…or perhaps they’re flattered? However they’re feeling, it doesn’t change the fact that Facebook are blatantly copying their “stories” feature!

This wouldn’t be the first-time Snapchat was copied. Not too long ago Instagram rolled out the same thing. Instagram Stories have even proven to be quite successful; with the stats showing 150 million daily users.

Facebook stories update:

Ireland is the first country lucky enough to be targeted for this new feature’s testing. The main concept behind the idea is an image or 10 second video which disappears exactly 24 hours after being posted.

Benefits include:

  • Being able to communicate your personality
  • The ability to get creative with your audience (using filters, a pen, etc)
  • Time efficient

Read more benefits here: https://www.wow-zone.com/blog/why-instagram-stories-are-a-must-for-businesses/

The look of it is very like Instagram’s own version of stories, with the only noticeable difference being colour schemes. Take a look below:

Facebook in-app camera:

As well as testing Facebook stories in Ireland, the Facebook in-app camera will soon be undergoing changes too. Since October 2016 Facebook have been testing filters, more editing options and more as part of a new feature they will be offering in the near future.

Here are some examples of what the new Facebook in-app camera can do:

Facebook in-app Camera

Facebook stories mask

The new camera will give you the ability to edit your image/video in many ways – with plenty of “masks” (commonly referred to as “lenses” on Snapchat) available to use!

These executive decisions are part of an overall vision, which is to emphasize its video and camera experiences.

Here’s a summary of what Mark Zuckerberg announced in Q3 of 2016:

  • Becoming video-first is Facebook’s first priority.
  • Facebook is also working on enhancing its camera experience.
  • Doing the above will increase both the consumption and production/sharing side of the camera.

Facebook are releasing these two features to stay in line with objectives and keep people on the app, potentially harming Snapchat’s social market share. I know I’ll definitely be using the feature when it comes out, in fact I can’t wait!

Will you be using these features too? Was this a smart play by Facebook? Join me in the comments!

Facebook fires shots at YouTube with new Facebook video hub

Not too long ago Facebook announced that it was racking up to 8 billion video views EVERY DAY!

As impressive as that is, it is worthwhile noting YouTube, reported 4 billion daily views back in 2012, a number which has likely risen by more than double since!

IMPORTANT READ: I wrote an article about Facebook Video Insights the other day and you NEED to read it!

YouTube is currently king of video…

…but Facebook isn’t centuries behind them either and is aiming to change ALL OF THIS with its new dedicated video hub.

Facebook Video Hub Gif
As you can see at the bottom of the mobile device is a “video” button. Users can click on that to take them to what is essentially a video marketplace.

It allows you to see a selection of videos from friends, liked pages, saved videos, videos you’ve already watched or videos that have been recommended by friends.

Here is a demonstration Facebook put out themselves, just so you can get a better idea of how it works – skip to around 40 seconds in:

They announced that it was testing the feature back in 2015 (near October), so I imagine it will be rolled out publicly within the next couple months.

Even if Facebook did surpass YouTube in views (which I highly doubt) it is difficult to compare both channels, as each platform defines a “video view” differently;

Facebook – Videos which are displayed for 3 seconds or over, regardless of whether the user has activated sound, are counted as a view.

YouTube – Videos watched for 30 seconds or over are counted as a view.

A view on YouTube is 10 times more than what it is on Facebook…something to consider when comparing the two platforms.

To end this article, here are a list of the main features Facebook rolled out just in 2016:

  • Suggested videos – Bringing videos which users may be interested in to their attention
  • A save button – Allowing users to bookmark content to come back to later
  • Multitasking – Allow users to continue watching a video whilst scrolling through their feed
  • Live video – Enables users to share a video of them instantly in the location they’re in
  • Facebook Marketplace – People now have the ability to buy and sell within Facebook
  • Instant articles – The ability to read articles without actually having to leave Facebook!
  • Facebook Reactions – Allows users to “react” to posts with a series of emotions.

It was a massive year to say the least…now and Facebook fires shots at YouTube with new Facebook video hub! What will be next for the social media giant?

5 top tips for creating the best content without even trying

Creating the best content without even trying

Every business will need social media to help build their brand awareness, and define their audience for those social channels as well. But what do you do once those tasks are done?

Create branded content!

That way you can share this information with your target audience, while still directing them to your website. The best way to do is to establish a blogging platform into your website.

But how can you create content that people will want to read? We’ve got some top tips for you to help create great content!

 

  1. The idea

Always the starting point for any blog is, what is my unique idea? While unique ideas are rare (it is seriously hard to find something that has no search results) you can still take a classic idea and put your own personal spin on it.

For example, you Google “How to create great blog content” and you see all 128 million results appear before your eyes – that’s a lot of competition!

Intriguing blog titles

As you can see, the first page is chock-a-block with amazing content to help you write content – but they all have taken to putting their own spin on it!

The first one appeals to the complete novice, the next one appeals to the formulaic person, and the third one is provoking an emotional response!

While the content may be the same in the end, their approach is different! Make sure you find your unique approach before you even start writing!

 

  1. The research

You either love it or you hate, but you will have to do research if you want your idea to blossom. The amount of times I have gone to write a blog, only to turn it completely on its head after researching!

When we say research, we don’t mean that you need to find every single point you want to make, just find a common point raised within your research and go with that!

Research is also great to find out if your topic is hot or not! Is your idea being talked about right now? Then write about it now! Topic looking a little bit cold? Then still write it, but sit on it until it is hot!

The best way to see what’s hot and what’s not is Google Adwords.

Google Adwords

Here’s a great example of someone using Google Adwords to help with their research!

They’ve typed in their product and it’s produced ad groups that contain lots of keywords. You can see it’s also showing you how many average monthly searches these ad groups get.

While the best monthly search may scream “pick me!” make sure it has relevant keywords to your brand.

When you start to look at the individual keywords within these groups, you can start to see what topics people are searching for, and create content around that!

 

  1. The title

What drew you in to this blog? Was it the closing paragraph? Was it the convincing social status that went with it? No, you saw the title!

The title is the sales person for your blog. They are on the front line, drawing in the audience (you) to learn about the information inside (our bit!)

Studies have shown that blogs that go viral usually contain numbers, digits and lists. They also define what the article is about, demonstrate the value the blog will bring them and bring excitement! Address the reader directly as well and you’ll be sure to get a click!

Some great examples of great blog titles include:

  • 10 Reasons to Create a Twitter Profile
  • How to Write a Tweet: Tweeting 101
  • Create an Eye-Watering Infographic in Minutes
  • 15 Social Media Tools You’ll Love to Work With

 

  1. Structure

So you’ve got your great idea (well done!) and done your research (congrats!) and even thought of the catchiest title (I am very impressed!). Now what do you do? You start writing?

Hold up, take a step back!

You need to think about the structure of your post. Do you want a big standard blog? Or do you want to make things interesting? Maybe that blog would make a great infographic? Or add some additional images and make it a gallery post?

You need to establish what will get your point across the best? Are you educating your audience, starting a discussion or entertaining them? These all have very different presentation styles!

If you’re trying to talk about something that involves a lot of statistics, an infographic is your way forward! They are a fantastic way of getting lots and LOTS of numbers across without boring anyone!

If you’re showing off the latest building work you’ve done, try and be creative with the visuals – don’t just describe the new designs, show them off!

 

  1. Images

You’re going to need something to accompany all that great content you’ve written!

Images are a great resource to help guide your audience through what you’ve written without losing them. If someone were to see a giant block of text, they’ll click right off and you’ll lose an audience member.

Always try to source the best quality images for your blog (it only deserves the best!), but if you can’t afford Shutterstock, there are plenty of ways to get some free quality images, if you’re willing to do some scrolling!

Places like Pexels and Google Images are great for getting copyright free images. That way you don’t have to worry about upsetting the photographer!

Avoid Copyright Issues with Royalty Free Images

For Google, you will need to put certain search parameters in to avoid copyright issues. To do this, you need to do the following:

  1. When you’re on Google Images, click on “Tools”
  2. Go to “Usage Rights” and select the drop down menu
  3. Click “Label for Reuse”
  4. You should now be able to use any of the images showing up now!

So that’s the basics you need to get your business started on its content adventure! Good luck, soon you’ll be creating the best content without even trying!