Top 10 tips for Charities on Social Media

Top 10 tips for Charities on Social Media

A few weeks ago I spoke at an event for Charities and Social Enterprises about how they can utilise social media for their organisation and gave a way some tips for making your mark as an organisation, here are my 10 thoughts ....

Why tech and charity work well together

Why tech and charity work well together

Developing a strategy for engaging and retaining volunteers and supporters using tech.

Tea, Toast and Talking - The Social Media Social

Tea, Toast and Talking - The Social Media Social

Social media is a great tool for small businesses, but its also great when you can get together - we had a meet up in Sheffield to talk social media, what's changing and to share tips and tricks that we have found useful.

Unsure where your business fits within the Social Media landscape?

Unsure where your business fits within the  Social Media landscape?

Social Media is key for all businesses, but not every platform is right for every business, and nor do many small businesses have the resources to be effective on a wide range of social media outlets. So, what do you do? 

Getting your voice right on Social Media

Getting your voice right on Social Media

Knowing your voice for your small business is important, it is vital to any of your social media output yet it is something that many businesses never give any thought to. 

Are you a Creative Entrepreneur?

Are you a Creative Entrepreneur?

Armed with a flask of tea I found myself stood on Grindleford station at 7am ready to attend the creative Entrepreneurs event held at Salford Uni.

The event was great and had speakers like Dom Burch from ASDA , and Tom Cheesewright  who fitted us in between an interview for CBBC on all things tech. 

So, what difference does all this make to small businesses:

Being Super Social in September

It's September already, a new school year, which always brings with it a flurry of activity.

Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of your social media over the next couple of weeks.

"Be Social and make the most of the opportunities - and - don't forget that the next social media Super Group is open for registration" - Book Here

1) Back to school 

Late summer sees a steady stream of back to school promotions, this one by Mother and Baby is effective because as many Facebook profiles will tell you, people love to post pictures of their children's first day of the new school year.

2) If your company doesn't work with children then look to ways you can capitalise on the new term feeling - people often return to work after a Summer holiday refreshed and ready to try new things - this could be a perfect time to open their eyes to what your business has to offer. It can also give you an angle to start a conversation with others which increase your reach.

This picture came from the WanDisco

 LinkedIn Page

It takes a current news story and attaches itself to it, by posting it from their company page. By using a tool such as LinkedIn you can start a discussion on a company page which allows you more space to write what you want to without being tied to 140 characters. 

3) Stand out and have a bit of fun 

Back in Spring a hotel in New York decided to create a bit of PR by using social media as the theme for their cocktails - the actual product was very low tech but the effect was viral with people like me half way across the globe talking about it! 

Find out more here

We hope you enjoy and find these ideas inspirational for your business - please forward them on to others who might find them useful.

Laura

ps - If you are looking for a networking event Eten, in town are organising a social - 6-8pm Thursday the 12th

Will you be looking good in 2014?

Images, Images Images! 

Images are going to be key for any social media strategy, for businesses and charities.

All the businesses and charities I work with would love to have the budget and time to create a swathe of great images, to have a team of people ready to respond to whatever is happening.

Oreo's Super Bowl image

The Oreo's Super Bowl tweet is a great example of what can be done when you have that team behind you. During the power outage in 2013 the game, which lasted 34 minutes, Oreo's team quickly put together this response and sent it out via twitter.

It is still one of my favourite creative marketing examples and was highly effective, it had a huge viral reach with hundreds of thousands of consumers retweeting and Facebooking it.  Its impact was talked about by industry leaders and many articles were written about it, looking at how much more effective it was than purchasing a 30 sec advertising spot for $4m.

So, how do you as a small business respond to this? Here are 5 of my top tips to getting a range of images you can use:

1) Network:

Tipple Tails delicious fruit cake

use your Network - Do you know a photographer and can you come up with a plan that is mutually beneficial. Running a small business is often all about creating smart responses to your situation. Local entrepreneur, and fruit cake wonder, Jane from 

Tipple Tails

 used her network to get some really great images for her website, working with 

Todd and Moore Photography

 to provide a mutually beneficial arrangement. Jane provided them with an opportunity to create a portfolio of work and promotion and they provided Jane with some stunning images.

2) Get Creative:

You need a shot that is going to capture the Zeitgeist of the moment - my advice is don't get overly fixated on the quality of the image. It needs to be good but not perfect. Some imperfections can add to the charm, after all we are not always looking for something to hang on the wall but something to make our customers empathise with us, and maybe even laugh or smile.  This shot was created for 

Harland Works

  offices and events space to start the build up to their Junk Music family event. It used a meme (What's a meme?) that was going round social media called Dinovember.

It's fun, quirky and helped the viral reach of the campaign.

3) Collaborate 

Can't afford a photographer on your own? then collaborate with a couple of other businesses - The Lean- In Network

 in Sheffield is getting a group of businesses together to have some professional portraits done. A word of caution with this one - be realistic with what you are asking. It has to be fair to the photographer - make sure you are all after a similar type of shot - ie portraits.

4) Pay someone 

Stuck for ideas, can't get images you are pleased with then - look for an expert. It is not easy to get good photos, particularly of events and large numbers of people. Its worth getting this done properly and paying for it.

5) They don't have to be photos

Don't forget about graphic designers and artists. For a Third Sector Cafe event we worked with artist Wildago and graphic designers 26 Design and Artwork to create an eye catching image.

Looking Good on LinkedIn

How to look good on LinkedIn? It’s not as hard as you think - here are five tips to give your profile a boost:

1) Pictures 

- take a look at your connections, how many don't have pictures on there, or if they do, they aren’t great? The kind where you are not sure who or what you are meant to be looking at.

Your picture is meant to be a piece of the jigsaw in identifying and understanding you. The easier you make it for people, the stronger your online network will be.

So, tips for a good photo; - use a photo which is appropriate for your industry. If you are a solicitor it will need to be more formal than if you are a graphic designer.

- show your face and smile!

- keep it up to date, if it’s heavily touched up or a few years old then you may not be recognisable.

Directing people!

2) Title

 - It’s the bit people see. The more you put, the more people know. There is a 120 character limit, so think about what you are going to say - Don't just put your company name, they often don't tell you anything about the services you offer, talk about your key skills, or your offer.

3) Summary

 - It’s your chance to shine. Add information in about what you are great at and what you have achieved. Filling this part in gives you the opportunity to talk about what you do and how you do it. You can add projects in here, photos and videos. There are lots of really great options to make you dazzle!and don't forget about your industry key words!

4) Recommendations - 

These are key to getting your profile noticed and for people believing what you say. Ask clients, work colleagues and even tutors to recommend you. It helps people to see a rounded picture.

5) Updates -

Create updates - these help to showcase your knowledge and remind potential clients that you are around. The more useful and helpful your updates, the more chance you have of getting them shared.

Got a Facebook Page? then here's 5 things to think about

Managing all your different social media sites can be difficult - Getting organised can be key to making the most of your social media - so here's 5 things to think about with your Facebook Page to give you a head start....

1) What is the purpose of the page? 
It may sound obvious but you need to think about what is the page about? - are you looking for customer feedback, generating an on-line community, information hub, a show and tell

2) How are you going to do this? 
Who is in charge of your Facebook page and how are you going to ensure you have a consistent approach - you don't want to end up updating 6x in one day and then not going on for another month.

3) What are you going to post? 
Think about your updates - vary these from simple status updates, to competitions, q&a's, comedy posts and images or videos

4) Using Images and videos
People love looking at good pictures, they look good on Facebook and have good organic reach- however - a poor quality picture looks awful, and does your brand no favours. For most small businesses hiring a professional photographer for regular photo shoots is not a possibility. Think about your equipment and carefully judge your photos before they go on-line.
Videos - embed these in your updates directly - don't use a third party such as YouTube or Vimeo so that the images display in a larger format.

5) Timing 
Think about when you are going to post. Look at your insights to see when people are most likely to see your posts and use the scheduling tool, so you can fit updating Facebook into your diary.

Social Media Super Group


Start off as a Social Media novice and end as a Social Media pro!
Meet for 6 sessions starting in September
Only £20 a session
Small businesses have an unique opportunity to create a buzz and interest in their brand on Social Media through sites such as twitter – this can and does lead to sales, recruitment, new suppliers, press coverage and a much higher profile than any traditional marketing budget for a small business could afford – but many small businesses lack the Skills and the Confidence to use Social Media effectively
so –
  Why not join with a group of like-minded people and become a pro with a ready made support group?
You’ll be led by Laura who, rumour has it, has been called a “social media guru”, by a communications pro within one of the top city firms. She regularly works with large clients to help them achieve the best outcomes for their business with their Social Media profiles, through managing accounts, providing Social Media assessments as well as strategies and tutoring.
Each Session will take around 2 hours and will look at using different Social Media platforms:
·         Twitter for your business
·         Facebook (understanding the difference between pages, profiles and groups),
·          Linked In profiles, groups and company pages amongst others.

We’ll be covering topics such as ‘baffled by a hash tag’ and ‘social networking on a grand scale’.
The sessions will be practical and fun and you’ll leave with skills to use between sessions to
see your business grow online!

We’ll be starting our next session at the end of September

Register your interest NOW

Or call 07917 694424

5 Mistakes Businesses make on Twitter

1.Forget that it is public
We’ve all heard about the high profile libel cases  and the stories from large businesses where people tweet the wrong things and pictures
http://www.thedrum.com/news/2012/07/24/burger-king-employee-makes-whopper-mistake
urgh who wants to see someone standing in the salad. But there are plenty of other businesses that just don’t think about how a message reads to a wider audience.  Sometimes banter is best to take onto a more private platform.  If you are a caterer then please don’t show me a dirty kitchen, if you are in accountancy then don’t make jokes about how you can’t add up etc!

Set yourself some ground rules – what are you allowed to say and what not – (ie language use, behaviours etc)
Check who has access to your account – are they trust worthy? And what plans do you have in place for when things go wrong?

2. tweet and forget it
So many companies start with great intentions about twitter, but for one reason or another they stop using it. If you are not tweeting regularly then you are not going to be making the most of the resource. There are plenty of accounts that tweet once a year and then expect it  to produce results.

Tip: set yourself a realistic idea of what you are going to be able to do, having a regular time to tweet and to schedule tweets to go out at regular intervals are all great ways to ensure you have a consistent approach to twitter

3. Sell and only sell 

People often see twitter as an online advertisement for their company , the same content as they would place in a magazine or newspaper. This leads to boring tweets – buy this now etc. Its dull and it doesn’t make me want to buy anything. It feels as though you are not interested in the online community, and just want to take out what you can get. This method doesn’t work, it alienates the very customer base you are trying to reach.

Tip: stick to the 20%/80% rule, 20% can be sales the rest has to be all about giving back to community.  What is it you can be an expert on, what knowledge can you bring to those around you.

4. Don’t tell me what they do
You see some businesses that are so worried about selling that they do anything but tell me what they do or offer me any knowledge form their expertise. I know about their social life, what they’ve eaten and where they are going on holiday. If I am following you, I am allowing you to talk about what you know, what you are good at.

Tip: plan in your content, think about what things you can share with your audience

5. Have no focus 
Companies have joined social media they have been told it’s the thing they need to do, so they have, they have got all the accounts, they put stuff out on them but they really don’t know whether its worthwhile. You need to find ways of measuring your success and effort across the different platforms.  What are they there for?

Tip: use the analytics from things like facebook pages to understand how your page is functioning.
Use Google analytics to track links back to your website from various places.

Create your own measures – is it numbers of new followers, likes, shares etc.