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“If I lasso the moon for Mary, will it make my #social stand still?”

 

It has been a crazy couple of weeks! And the wild horse, that is the internet and it’s offspring ‘social media’ is as tricky for a cowboy or cowgirl to lasso as the moon – but ‘it’s a wonderful life’ to play in.

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And before I get onto a round up of my latest gleanings in this overwhelming  and beautiful world of ‘social’ here is one quick thought from me for 2016.

CISCO predicts that by 2017, 70% of internet traffic will be via video but I think it may get there even quicker.

It makes perfect sense, as there is simply too much information to allow for reading everything you come across in the day.

Images, infographics and video and live streaming get information over quickly and agreeably. Watch this Blab on digital trends with Brian Fanzo and see what I mean.

And you know immediately, I’m writing this around christmas time because of the whacky christmas jumper gif.

Video is just images on fast forward…

 

Light up xmas jumper!

http://www.truffleshuffle.co.uk

Facebook may have challengers with other live-streaming platforms grabbing headlines at the moment, but it’s 360 degree video facility and access to billions of users will make it a mainstream option and perhaps much more quickly than has been anticipated.

I think market forces will drive this.

The next step is video, where you digitally step into real places filmed by real cameras, says a recent Wired.com article.

That’s still some way away, but it’s where Zuckerberg is looking.

“We’re starting to see real video merge with virtual reality and augmented reality,” Zuckerberg said.

Currently, Google Glass  and the like are aimed mainly at the gaming audience. Headsets are expensive.

I don’t game BUT I would love the 3d experience right now please, without it costing me a fortune.

Here is a brilliant initiative helping unlock kids with autism using Google Glass. (www.powerbrain.com) – can you just imagine the possibilities?

 

We build brain science-driven software to transform
wearables like Google Glass™ into neuro-assistive devices for autism.

 

KEEPING IN TOUCH

Many of us travel extensively now. I for one, am an ex-pat living in Australia.

Would I love to be at a christmas lunch with my family via virtual reality in the UK? You bet I would!

 

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Maybe Santa’s sleigh can magically transport you Louise?

 

A birthday party, a wedding of a much loved friend, that you really couldn’t justify thousands of dollars and weeks off work for?  Of course you would want to be there, or next best, feel as if you were there!

Or maybe, you just want to be there to read a story to your kids if you can’t be home for their bedtime.

I won’t inflict you with a sad photo of a child here, we’ve probably all been there as either a child or a parent.  Okay, just a small one.

Oscar and Bentley - where were you!!

WHERE were you?

 

 

THE FUTURE

I can be heckled anywhere I live in the world 

said ex CEO of Twitter in a Bloomberg Business interview recently when asked about his future.

Maybe, he has a version of Twitter up his sleeve – Twittereality?

A number of people are predicting a new substantial platform is around the corner…

 

3D TECHNOLOGY

Wouldn’t it be great if 3d virtual reality headsets could also have the capability to view, film and send information to 3d printers?

We could video and send our nephews and nieces a copy of their favourite football players signed t-shirt  or a copy of the trophy  at the event we are attending.

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Even if it is just in miniature, until we can all own multi-functional full size 3d printers!

Or maybe, a copy of a signed programme at a theatrical event.

Or a beautiful piece of sculpture, or jewellery for a birthday or christmas or simply as a ‘I love you’ present, when we are feeling creative.

Or maybe a delicious piece of cake?

Or maybe I am just getting carried away?

Did you know, that right now, there are 3d printers re-creating 2d works of art in 3d, for blind people to touch and experience? 

Amazing!

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800 FOLLOWERS

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Woo hoo! 800 followers.  Thank you!  I know this seems a tiny number for you big hitters out there. But six weeks ago, I had 30 just by default and knew virtually nothing about Twitter.

Now, coming to the platform via Blab, I’m impressed with what I have re-discovered and the uses for Twitter that I hadn’t felt compelled to use before for business.

Particularly, as DM’s (direct messages) can be meaningful now. I kind of hope that Tweets can’t be edited, a change that is under consideration currently…  So, you have to get it right first time, it feels part of the ethos.

 

SHOUT OUT

This post includes a big shout out to a few people who have been incredibly welcoming and kind this week to me.

So this post is to mainly say thank you.

First of all to K.P Kelly.

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I watched a Blab live streaming event he made about privacy online.  One of his guests was a young student, Savannah Campbell who had been stalked via an app using geo location.  Nothing sinister happened, but it does point out some of the negative possibilities of revealing too much information online.

I asked KP after the broadcast via direct message, what equipment I needed to get started on Blab and how difficult it was to use.

He kindly replied with a nice message, saying a laptop was fine to start with and that the software is very easy to use and to do a Test Blab and perhaps arrange one with Savannah and he would jump in and help out with the technology if needed.

Super nice guy!

Savannah is a great young woman, helping with a fantastic initiative at her Uni for kids with severe illnesses. For details see the link above.

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Savannah

 

A cause very close to my heart, which will have it’s own post early next year is about terminally ill children and their families here in Australia.  I had the privilege to interview some of the volunteers who help at a beautiful ‘home from home’ in Manly, Sydney.  I’ll post my article about Bear Cottage soon, but feel free to look and contribute to this wonderful hospice right now!

Then later in the day, I was watching another Blab by Leslie Samuel who is a senior executive at Social Media Examiner.  All about making video. His guest was You Tube star  Luria Petrucci

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I decided to follow her, and signed up for GeekUniversity.com which will unravel the mystery of video.  It starts on January 16th 2016 and I will be passing on interesting information to you.

She also was incredibly helpful, and offered to have a look at my first offerings and give me some tips and was super encouraging.

Basically, some of her advice was not to expect your first video to go viral!  In fact, like any other social media platform, expect to build your followers or ‘tribe’ slowly.

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Check that your content is in line with your audience’s needs and most of all ‘commit’ to the process.

I think that is one of the hardest parts to realise that to really engage an audience, you have to ‘show-up’ every day.  Post consistently, respond to your group and understand that slow and steady will win the race.

Engage with your audience as much as possible.  K.P.Kelly wrote this helpful article about Twitter but it works across all social platforms.

 

So back to the hot tub analogy in an earlier post. Cup by cup fill the tub and after quite some time it will be full and bubbly!

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I also took part in a couple of Periscopes by a New York photographer, Jeffrey Shaw. Unfortunately, I only joined mid way so didn’t catch all of his pearls of wisdom.  But one that resonated with me was this.

Harness the chaos.  He put it slightly differently, encouraging everyone to embrace chaos and welcome it as a creative force.

It’s true that it does get your mind buzzing trying to read, listen and watch to a huge amount of information but for me personally, the only way, I am going to manage a social media business well, is to step back, become very organised, and self disciplined.

Time for a digital editorial calendar! (as against writing notes on a bit of paper!).

This week I am trying out several approaches and will let you know my findings. There are quite a few new ideas around that look appealing, but I wont prejudge.

When you start out, it seems like an enormous mountain to climb and it is…

Check out some of the respected big players like Hootsuite, and Hubspot and say, half a dozen social media influencers and subscribe to their platforms and read what they have to share, and listen to their podcasts. Watch their Blabs/Periscopes. Read some of their books.

Don’t jump in too quickly, or it really is easy for it all to become a snowblizzard that means you can soon lose all sense of what direction you were orignially heading in!

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My particular favourites are (in no particular order) 🙂

Jeff Bullas; Joe Pullizzi, Rebekah Radice, KP Kelly,  Leslie Samuel, Peg Fitzpatrick, Mike Kawula, Scott Monty, Luria Petrucci, Mike Stelzner, Guy Kawasaki, Kim Garst, Brian Fanzo, Ian M Calvert, Rachel Miller and Donna Moritz.

And I discover new inspirational people everyday.

The very first person who inspired me to look at social media about six years ago was Mari Smith. I was on a learning curve with a small business, but everything you said was sound.  If this ever goes anywhere, I’ll be thanking you for your wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm, long before many others jumped onboard.

Many of these people have websites or blogs that round up all the latest in social media, and in the case of Hootsuite and Hubspot, and Social Media Examiner they have a huge amount of information for the complete beginner in their ‘evergreen‘ posts.  They are a great place to start.

Whether you are a complete novice, or want to keep up to date with ongoing trends and best market practises, you can’t go wrong attending one of Social Media Examiner‘s online conferences like SMSS16 for example.

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They aren’t overly expensive, especially if you subscribe early.  List the names of all the speakers and follow them. You can re-watch their presentations throughout the year.

In my experience, as I have learned more, I have gained more from them, particularly on topics I knew virtually nothing about.

Go to the MentionMapp app and see who the presenters follow and follow some of them.  Apparently, about one third of the people you follow, will return the favour.

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I love MentionMapp. It is really useful for practical research.

 

I would take your time though, explore the pages, and get to know the online persona a little bit, then follow in an engaging way.

Wildly following hundreds of people at the same time, may result in some chunky numbers, but you need to be able to respond.  People talk about ‘growth hacking‘ (this is a good comprehensive guide by SocialQuant also an excellent source of knowledge).

I have to be honest, and say, I don’t really understand the term or at least why people would want to.  Apart from the obvious ‘vanity metrics’ how can it be useful?

Everything that I have read, that has made sense, is that you can’t take short cuts and end up with meaningful engagement, but I will experiment with a few ‘tips’ and report back.

Time is obviously an issue, especially when you are growing more than one platform concurrently and for a variety of clients.  And some of those clients might want visible growth fast, even if it isn’t ideal.

Brian Fanzo made a comment on a Blab he recently made about people constantly asking him, ‘how do I move my 10,000 Twitter followers to another platform’.

Brian Fanzo

His answer was ‘these are people, not numbers‘ and fake engagement doesn’t work and it is down, to putting in the work. ‘Showing up‘ just as Luria Petrucci said.

Focus on following people in your industry and naturally you will get followers back from the same sphere.  Don’t use automated DM’s to thank them for their follow unless you really are time poor. At least in the beginning with only a few hundred followers, make the time to engage and reply on an individual basis.

Take the time to read their posts and re-tweet one of the most interesting ones, and thank them for the follow at the same time.

Use a tool like ManageFlitter to find out who isn’t following you, or who has ‘unfollowed’ and cut out your dead wood.

The goal is an ‘engaged‘ audience.  It doesn’t matter a hoot, if you have a million followers and only 100 of them are talking with you!

One size does not fit all, so experiment with what works for you.

Tim Fargo said to me via direct message, and I quote. ‘Do what you want.  Honestly. The vast majority of people will be fine with it, and as for the rest.  Who cares.’

Online networking and marketing is very much like real life.

Well how about that!

 

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

Another very helpful fellow marketeer called Ian M Calvert recently spent some time on Skype with me talking about potential business ideas.

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I am really keen to explore different avenues but very much in ‘start-up’ mode, but he gave me a lot of food for thought and who knows where it might lead.

I have found so far, it is often the most successful people who give the most of their time, I guess that is what sets them apart.

Ian is based in the UK, and is an ‘influencer’ there.  It is exciting to think of the potential business opportunities that can so easily be global.

I’m very grateful for his help and all the others who have helped smooth this chaos so far.

 

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a time

Many years ago, when I was working for a food magazine in London, I ran the promotions department.  I wrote sponsored features, advertorials and so on.  Paid for by a client, like Twinings tea for example.  It was my job to come up with ‘stories’ that appeared to be editorial, while subtly promoting the product.

With Twinings, we created several recipes that included their tea, invited readers to come up with their own, and the winner received a weekend at a country house hotel (Lygon Arms) in the Cotswolds, a pretty part of the world with an afternoon at the Polo.

I commissioned an artist to paint images of the hotel.  It was winter time, and the Cotswolds were covered in snow and he created beautiful works of art.

Lygon Arms

It was one of my most successful promotions, Twinings were very happy with the response and the readers had beautiful, useful content to use and one lucky reader, a luxurious weekend away to boot!

At the time, I wondered how I would ever use that particular skill again ever in my life.  And for many years didn’t really, turning to traditional journalism for a living.

And now ‘inbound marketing’ has arrived and brand ‘storytelling’ is popular.  And I am very happy!

If I can help any of your writing requirements, please let me know.

 

And finally…

Although, it is extremely time consuming, learning all these new things, there is a quote that Richard Branson loves, which I will share here.

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And so far, I am very happy to say, it has also been a LOT OF FUN!

I ‘said’ to Mike Stelzner that I felt I had learned more from the curated Social Media Examiner content and online Summits, than I had in expensive marketing courses in the past.

I hope you have gained some useful information from this blog, or found some great people to follow.

I’m going to post once a week, a round up similar to this, about social media marketing for people starting out and topics that stand out to me or just might be of interest.  So follow me, if you think it could be helpful.

I’ll also be making a few videos, and will be making a TEST Blab this week with one of my daughters on a subject dear to our hearts.

Hannah is a qualified PT instructor and particularly interested in helping kids learn about healthy living and how to incorporate exercise into their lives in a fun way. (She also does some part-time modelling – so thought I would share a pretty photo with you – as a proud mum).

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I’ll schedule an actual Blab once I get Blab savvy 🙂 and I hope to see some of you there!

 

Exciting times!

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