On Tuesday I went to a school careers fair to talk about working in social media. Nearly all the pupils I met (aged 13 – 16) were already active on social networks like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram; a couple had their own YouTube channels.
Some of them asked me how to become an influencer. They were keen to monetize their presence like Zoella or KSI. One of them wanted to know how to ‘be famous”. Most had questions about how to make the jump from using social media for personal social networking to using it for work.
Here’s the advice I gave:
1. Yes, there are YouTubers and celebrities who’ve become famous and made millions from their social media profiles. They probably make up less than 1 percent of people who earn a living through social media. Many of these (like Paris Hilton or Kylie Jenner) already had money and networks of privilege to help them. Others (like PewDiePie or Jenna Marbles) have become leading influencers through their own unique style and delivery – and sheer hard work. It’s not impossible but the odds will be stacked against you.
Even if you’re not into Chinese astrology, you might be vaguely interested to know that 2016 was the year of the Monkey (trickery) and 2017 the Rooster (wake up call). Now it’s time to be true to yourself with the loyal, dependable dog.
The Earth Dog is about honesty, fairness, integrity, healing and stability. And who’d say no to a bit of that?
This is good, because I’m starting 2018 with a two month sabbatical. After 18 months solid client work, I’m finally free to pause and take stock. Reflection is important: it’s a great time to acknowledge and celebrate the good stuff while also learning from the bad.
So I’ll start by shining a light on the things that really matter.
Here are my five New Year resolutions for 2018 (if you see me, hold me to them).
1. Appreciate more
Take time to do more for the ones closest to me. Especially my family and those that have loved and looked after me in recent months. My mum turns 80 in February so we’re taking to her to Tromsø to see the Northern Lights. The past two years have not been easy for my sisters so I’m going to spend more time with them. And my daughter has got used to her mum not being available, so I’m looking forward to doing more with her. First stop is Alice in Winterland. And we’ll be hopping on the District Line to our fave free museum, the Victoria & Albert, for Balenciaga and of course, Winnie-the-Pooh.
Getting influencers to talk about your brand isn’t easy. You need to be part of the online conversation to make an impact, and it’s tougher than ever for mainstream advertising to be the watercooler topic it used to be.
But how do things work for the rest of us? With most businesses now using social media in one form or another, it’s important to amplify messages and engage with customers, users and stakeholders. Influencers are a great way to do that. But for financial, strategic or ethical reasons you might not want to pay.
Putting together an influencer list is relatively easy. From compiling a simple wishlist of people you’d like to see talking about your product or service (if you know your market well, you can probably do this off the top of your head) to using a paid social listening tool like Brandwatch or Affinio to take a deep dive into audience habits. Continue reading →
If you run marketing campaigns, manage a product or service, or develop policy, you’d probably like to know what people are saying about the thing you work on in real time.
There are many ways to do this but my preferred tool is TweetDeck (above). I like TweetDeck because it’s free, it focuses purely on Twitter (still the go-to channel for breaking news) and its desktop alerts enable you to keep on top of what’s happening – with minimum disruption to your workflow.
In this blog post I’ll show you how to track brand mentions by setting up a simple keyword alert using TweetDeck. The whole process shouldn’t take you more than five minutes.
1. Go to Tweetdeck and log in with your Twitter account. It does’t matter how regularly you use Twitter, or how many people you follow – TweetDeck simply needs your log-in to access the Twitter firehose. (If you don’t already have a Twitter account, you can set one up here). Continue reading →
As video and images come to dominate social media, social listening tools need to adapt. It’s a sign of the visual times that Brandwatch is introducing logo recognition to its monitoring dashboard.
The new “Image Insights” tool (see this guide for info) allows users to find images shared on Twitter that contain their brand’s logo – or those of their competitors.
For big brands, this is exciting stuff.
If you’re Pepsi, for example, you’d be able to see that your logo has featured in more than 8 thousand images posted on Twitter in the last 28 days. The screenshot above shows a selection – this is exactly what Pepsi’s marketing team would see on their new Brandwatch dashboard. Continue reading →
Last week I was up North for Thinking Digital’s tenth birthday. This was the tenth year that Thinking Digital has been held in Newcastle, although the actual conference is well into its teens. There have been Thinking Digital spin-offs in Manchester and London. I’ve lost count of how many TDCs I’ve been to. Each one has been amazing.
I used to work in live TV: it’s exciting, anything can happen, and you don’t have to edit. Now that immediacy is available across social media. Yes – YouTube and Snapchat have been around for years but it’s only really with the global roll-out of Facebook Live last year (and accompanying hard sell) that live video has been pushed into the mainstream.
I did a 5 minute talk the other day as part of a Show and Tell. The talk was on the Twitter account I’d just re-launched, why I was doing it, and what I hoped to get out of it. After the talk one of the internal communications team came over and asked if he could put some of my slides up on the digital screens around the building.
That was great – a result – some engagement! And someone was actually listening to my talk. But of course I started thinking about how relatively unexciting the slides were and wishing I could put be putting something really eye-catching up on those screens.
It’s increasingly common for businesses and organisations to have display screens in their reception areas, lifts and other high-footfall parts of the building. This internal network (aka digital signage) needs content. And not bland corporate videos or 1984 style maxims either. These screens need something that grabs the attention, engages and entertains.
Zunas’ tweet shows a photo of her colleagues on board their expedition ship, preparing for the march. Each of them holds a placard with a message: “Men for the earth”, “Save the planet”, “Seals for science” or “Penguins for peace”.
It’s been a crazy year. I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and all the best for the year to come. May your heart be open and your dreams come true! Big thanks Paul Donnellon for the santa cartoon.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) turned five years old this week. As part of their birthday celebrations, the team tweeted a series of one minute videos. I love these birthday videos so much, I wanted to keep a log of them here.
I’m presenting to my local school’s Code Club next term – it’s a really diverse group and I want to talk about careers in technology and help them believe that these types of jobs are for everyone. Women and people from black or minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds are still under-represented in STEM roles. These videos will make perfect little demos.
Code Club is a brilliant way of teaching children to code, and giving them that empowering idea that they can build anything they want. But it’s also an introduction to the concept of a UK digital industry. Continue reading →