Seth Godin Wants You to Act Like a Human (Inc.). I'm sure there are many Seth Godin fans out there and so I'm sure you'll love this 58-minute talk by the man himself on a wide range of marketing subjects.
Keeping Clients Fit During the Pandemic by Going Virtual (New York Times). You've no doubt heard the word Pivot over the last few months and this is exactly what this article is about. Read about Personal Trainer Matt Sulam who became a Virtual Trainer and only lost one of his clients.
These are indeed challenging times for people in all walks of life and business is no different. Many are saying that the way we used to conduct business has now changed and we are now living in the 'new normal'. But what does this 'new normal' look like and are there any best practice examples that we can take from companies and apply to our own? Of course there are and here are some examples I've found.
Here's a neat example from MIT to show that, even in times of a pandemic, what might seem as a huge problem can easily be overcome. Even defending your doctoral thesis can be done online. There's video is compiled nicely and we can learn something from concept, to presentation and to the fact that not even borders act as a barrier.
Recent MIT graduate Erin Looney, who received her PhD in mechanical engineering, reflects on the surprising benefits of defending her doctoral thesis virtually #ClassOf2020pic.twitter.com/akeNAJLFUJ
Many people have graduated from your university and, this can provide you with a lot of content ideas. Here, Cornell University invites entrepreneur and ex student Steve Hindy for a talk and live beer tasting. What could be better?
Join us today at 4 p.m. EDT for a talk and live beer tasting with Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner Steve Hindy '71, MAT '73, co-founder of the Brooklyn Brewery. https://t.co/Ny91VVMrll
During lockdown we have seen a huge increase in the number of people using video platforms like Zoom, Microsoft teams and Google hangouts. The University of Manchester has just started a series of videos titled "lockdown lectures" and the first one is with renowned physicist Brian Cox. Consider how you could be using this idea of lockdown lectures/diaries/exercises for your own organisation.
If the customer can't go the business/university/school, why not take it to the customer? Even though you can't hear Harvard University's bells they decided to put those bells online. This is a great example of where organisations which have venues or locations – think parks, universities, wildlife parks, farms or even entertainment and sporting venues – can film the location and post it up on to the Internet. Some of them, like Harvard, can fall back on digital media assets which they have created in the past.
Social Media tip - hardwire Social Media into your brain and document what happens in your working day. You never know when you might use it.
How about giving your followers an insight into what your employees have been up to during this time? Harvard University has selected 40 students from around the world and created 40 'lockdown updates'.
Food and Drink
You might not be able to go to Costa and order one of their lattes but that doesn't stop them promoting their coffee packs so that you can enjoy your it at home. In this example they are teaching you how to make the perfect coffee using your cafetiere. The video series is titled 'From our home to yours' and features (from their homes) top tips from Costa's baristas.
Missing your mid morning break at your local coffee shop? Sit back and relax with our At Home coffee range because you don’t need to leave the house to take a break. Check out the link below for tips on making the most from your Cafetière ?https://t.co/3vKgMDO5oKpic.twitter.com/rB392ZqteX
Even though shops and restaurants are largely closed (but starting to slowly reopen) many companies have seen a boom in online sales. However, what is surprising is the number of food and drink companies that have been quite inactive during the lockdown period. Folks, this is precisely the time that they should be more active, especially if they have e-commerce capability. I like this example which announces winners from a recent online competition from Cotswold Cheese Company as 1. the picture is taken in the shop to remind you they are open 2. it shows the hampers which people can buy online. Business continuity is so important in this time.
We were so overwhelmed with giveaway entries that we have decided to pick two winners! The lucky hamper prize will go to...
As many of you will know Riverford is a favourite of mine when delivering social media courses. This simple video highlights all the steps that they are taking to ensure a safe and supportive environment for their staff and customers. I'm sure there are many lessons for all of us in business to learn from this. Boots and B and Q also have some good examples of showing the steps they are putting in place to look after staff and customers.
As an employee-owned business, supporting co-owner wellbeing through Coronavirus is really important to us. These are the steps we have taken to make the Riverford working environment a safe and supportive one...
Waterstones is another of my favourite Social Media favourites. They are SO good on Social Media and though they don't have the budget of Amazon they certainly deliver a far better social media experience. In this example we can see that they have used one of the popular video conferencing applications to record an interview with not just the stars and director of Normal People but also from some Waterstones staff. It's worth watching if you're looking for great tips on how to conduct video interviews or even webinars.
Square is a payments company that serves both individual and businesses. More often than not you will come across them when you swipe your card at the local coffee shop. They have always promoted their customers and customer use of their products/services on Social Media and through the pandemic they have sought to highlight customer stories through the use, amongst other techniques, of short podcast stories. I must say I really like the format of these within Twitter.
“We figured out a way to produce sanitizer to donate to the city, and we're working on additional batches for Pittsburgh police, fire, and EMS.”
Fashion clothing company Joules invite you to see how their staff are coping with lockdown. In this video one of the fashion designers talks about what she gets up to at the weekends - painting plants and flowers from her garden! I do like this approach where people within the company step outside of their working life and show us other aspects of life or even new skills they have learnt during lockdown.
So, as we can see, even though most of us are unable to work from an office this does not mean that our social media efforts have to stop; on the contrary this is especially the time where companies need to double up and think in a different way about how to keep in touch and engage with their customers. The examples above, I hope, will give you inspiration and ideas as to how your company can approach the task of using social media in the 'new normal'.
Over the past 12 months we have run a few courses live online - including Social Media, Google Analytics, Twitter and WordPress. In the current climate we have decided to offer most of our courses as Virtual Classrooms. They will be offered as both open courses and private courses. Though we have delivered most of our courses face-to-face, we have experimented with virtual classrooms over the past year. Using platforms like Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts allows us to deliver to groups of up to 4 or 5 very effectively.
So, how does it work?
It is pretty simple really. Here's what you need:
a laptop, desktop or tablet device
an Internet connection
the Zoom application.
How much does it cost?
For the next few months we will offer an introductory price of £159* per person and this will include:
Course handouts (sent to you)
Access to a password-protected area which features videos, articles, podcasts, videocasts, PowerPoint slides, book links and more.
1-hour one-to-one follow-up to see if you have any questions.
What courses are offered through the Virtual Classroom?
We will be offering the following courses to start off with:
If you know me, you will know that I bang on quite a lot about the importance of Video in Social Media! And, I also like to share statistics to help you prove to the powers that be the importance of video in your social media strategy. Well, here's a grat infographic for you.
Since 1995 Mary Meeker has presented her Internet Trends report which identifies the top trends and stats across the industry. And this year is no different. We are sure that all students will find this slide deck of interest. Many of our CIM students find that some of the stats prove useful in their assignments to back up what they are discussing. Within the 334 pages you will find data on ecommerce, online advertising, internet usage, freemium and broad areas like work, education and China. Enjoy!
Master new skills in Social Media Advertising in 1 DAY!
Social Media Advertising spend is expected to top $93 billion by the end of 2019 and 53% of businesses use Social Advertising to reach their customers. By 2020 Social Media Advertising will overtake tv advertising spend. So, isn't time you mastered it?
Marketing Tom, in collaboration with Liberty Marketing, has developed a great new course - Facebook Advertising. It will be delivered as a public course from April and the special-rate cost will be £245 (+VAT). If you would like to book a place, please take a look at our Facebook Ads Training Course page.
By the end of the day you will have mastered the skills to create high-performing Social Media Advertising campaigns. The main focus is on Facebook (Instagram) as this is the most popular and given that there are so many similarities between Facebook and Twitter and Linkedin. It is split into two areas: theory and practice.
Our Facebook (Paid Social) Ads specialist has a number of years' experience in this field at both agency and client level and will give you the right balance of theory and practice to help you master Facebook (Paid Social) Media advertising.
Facebook Advertising Theory
The first part of the day is spent going through set up, campaign structure, the all-important Facebook Funnel, creation of ads and audiences, budgets and ad types. We then offer attendees a master class on creating ads, give you tips on how to manage your account before exploring Twitter and LinkedIn.
Facebook Advertising Practice
The second part of the day is spent doing a hands-on session. Guided by your tutor will go through campaign creation, audience selection, ad creation and many more fundamentals on how to maximise your use of Facebook. All the time you will be offered great advice by your tutor.
We delivered our first course at the start of March. Here's what our client had to say:
Marketing Tom organised a two-day course of intensive training on Google and social media ads, for me and 10 colleagues with varying degrees of online advertising experience. They were a pleasure to work with from start to finish. Our training leader was exceptionally knowledgeable and able to answer every question we threw his way. We left the training feeling fully informed and - most importantly - able to tackle our online advertising campaigns with confidence.
Every month I get calls from SME's looking to improve their web presence. A typical call would start off like this, “I have a website [probably built on WordPress] and I'm having having trouble updating it, is this something that you can help you with?”. These types of call are usually from people who are a little bit disgruntled by the fact that they have to pay their web developers to make minor changes or have possibly forgotten how to update their sites themselves.
When you dig a little deeper you find this is not the only issue that they are having. And, more often than not, and after asking a couple questions, you can find out that there are probably a whole raft of tools they could be using and techniques they could be employing to improve their website presence.
So, here are a list of simple tools and techniques that SME's can be employing to maximise their web presence.
1. Website page titles and meta descriptions.
Page titles can be seen in the search results when you do a Google search and the in the tab of your browser:
They are often generated from page/post headlines (especially if you're using WordPress) but can be changed to be more focused for your target audience. Try to make sure the focused keywords for that page appear here. If you want advice on keywords, try Ubersuggest or Google's Keyword Planner. Meta descriptions (which often but not always) appear under the page title can give the searcher more detail about the link they are about to click. It is hard work but it is worth working on Page Titles and Meta Descriptions on your key pages. (more…)
As you can imagine we get a see a lot of social media during the week and get to see some really good (and some not very good) examples of how organisations are crafting organic and paid updates and generally how the social networks are evolving. Here are just three examples that caught my attention last week and which I wanted t share with you.
Example 1: As seen on Facebook
Here's a very simple example which takes images from Instagram and adds them to Animoto.
Example 2: As seen on LinkedIn
Images get much more engagement than plain text updates. Why not consider creating a collage which helps highlight Products and services? Or processes? Or even tells a story?
Example 3: Mine competitor ads on Facebook.
Facebook transparency means that you can now go to the Facebook Page of any organisation to get a clearer picture of the approach that organisation takes to Paid Facebook ads.
We have been using Twitter for 10 years and run Twitter Courses every month. Therefore, we always excited to learn about the latest Twitter developments. On a couple of our accounts we have started to the Twitter Sneak Peek' invite - offering you the chance to take a sneak peek at the new Twitter interface. If you do happen to see it, click it! Within an instant you will be able to see how the Twitter website may probably look in the future.
Straightaway you will see that we have gone from 2 Sidebars down to 1 - which now appears on the right-hand side. Your Feed now appears on the left. And , as you can see below, Trends has now moved to the right along with Media.
What's happening still appears at the top of the feed but notice how the Twitter quill has now moved from top right to the bottom right.
If we look at the Compose element we can see that the Location button has now been removed and we are left with image, gif and polls as additional options for composing. The other change within this section is that the circle icon (don't you just hate it?) has now been placed below the compose box.
So, how does a typical Twitter interface look? Here are 2 different examples. They are definitely simpler and cleaner-looking.
The Header which ran across the top of the page has now been replaced with a shorter one, though Photos and images have been promoted to a prime position at the of the page. Is that a nod towards our increased use of media?One thing you will notice if you visit someone else's Twitter account is that the Tweet to button is no longer available, though clicking on the Tweet button in the bottom right has the same function. The Message button has moved above the the bio to just undertake Header. Followers and Following has now been moved to just below the bio and Lists have been hidden away under the Settings button (next to Direct message).
All in all I like the decluttering that Twitter has done to the Desktop interface. It's going to take some time to get used to it but it is certainly an improvement.