Social Media

Do you love creating and spreading new ideas?

If so, this is a call for you to start using Periscope to add fuel to your idea machine!

Over the past few months I have been following James Altucher’s advice and I’ve been proactively creating new ideas. Why? To exercise my idea muscle and to become an idea machine.

It’s not about executing on the ideas, it’s about becoming great at generating ideas.

Related content:

I’ve also been using Periscope a lot over the past 3 or 4 months, and one of the main reasons I love the live broadcasting platform is that I have the ability to share my ideas quickly to a core audience that listen.

I’m not afraid to share my ideas, in fact I love giving them away!

3 reasons why you should use Periscope to develop your ideas

One big point that I want to get across in this article is that your idea does not have to be complete before you share it! It’s actually great to get it out there when it’s not fully formed, and here are 3 reasons why Periscope can help you develop your ideas:

1. Get immediate feedback: Share your idea live with your audience and involve them in the discussion. You will very quickly get feedback and an underst anding of what people think.

2. Improve and develop your idea: People will flag up things you haven’t thought of yet, plug some gaps in your concept and challenge your thinking.

3. Articulate your idea: Talking about your idea for this first time can be a little disjointed but through sharing your idea you will get better at articulating it.

By grouping these three points together hopefully you can see how Periscope can help develop and improve your ideas, simply by sharing them live with your audience.

What ideas can you share with people on Periscope?

Let me know when you are broadcasting and I’ll join you.

DFTBA!

Chris.

Did you know that the most prominent emotion that people feel when they are browsing through their Facebook news feed is jealousy?

I’m sure you’ve felt it before, I certainly have.

It comes as a result of comparing yourself to others, which we all do.

However, we need to stop it because it’s damaging our mind set and our psyche.

What’s REALLY happening on Facebook?

Everyone seems to be having a great time don’t they?

When you are scrolling through Facebook you get the impression that everyone is having this great life that you seem to be missing out on.

New car, new TV, new kids, new clothes, new experiences, new tan, new home.

How come hardly anyone posts the mundane everyday boring stuff? Because it’s not that exciting. It’s not ‘news worthy’.

Most people post stuff on Facebook to express themselves, and what this new ’thing’ says about their lifestyle and choices.

It’s about them, not you. Please remember this simple and very important point.

You’ve got two solutions

You can take what I think is the best approach and celebrate this new experience with your Facebook friends and make them feel good about it. Comment on their updates and tell them that their new car looks amazing and that you can’t wait to get a spin. Tell them their new games console is the best and you can’t wait have a shot. Tell them their new nails look amazing and ask where they got them done.

Be a positive influence.

Or you can do the exact opposite, especially if the feelings you get are overwhelmingly negative and depressive. Delete the posts from your newsfeed, unfollow people and perhaps consider getting away from Facebook for a while…maybe forever. Close your laptop, switch off your devices and get out of the house for a while.

Don’t let yourself creep into the jealous and depressive nature of Facebook. I have witnessed first h and verbal negative comments as a result of a simple Facebook update, and it’s not healthy.

Facebook can be a wonderful place but it’s all about how you react to what goes on around you.

Your turn

  1. Have you ever felt jealous of others when scrolling through Facebook?
  2. How do you overcome Facebook jealousy?
  3. What’s the best way to share what’s going on in your life without coming across as if you are trying to show off?

Let me know by joining the conversation in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

Getting to grips with Twitter is far easer than you might imagine. Twitter is much less understood than Facebook, and once you get past some initial jargon there is not much confusion, it becomes a lot of fun. If you represent your business on other social media platforms there is no reason why you cannot get to grips with Twitter.

I think it’s great and I have fun tweeting and retweeting, etc…so I have put together some my thoughts right here for you. Hopefully these thoughts will inspire you to join up!

Twitter Actions and Features

Tweeting
A tweet is a 140 character message that you and other tweeters send out into the wonderful world of the web. Hopefully it will be interesting enough for people to retweet it and comeback and follow you.
Profile/Bio
You have 160 characters to describe your self and/or your business, so you might have to be a little creative about it. I generally don’t follow someone/a business that does not have a profile, and I’m sure other people do the same. Take the time to create a bio that describes your business accurately.
Retweeting
When you see tweets from others that are relevant to your product/service you can ‘retweet’ the message. This basically means taking their original tweet and then sending it from your twitter account. It is like giving a shout out to someone for saying something cool, or something you believe in. The original tweeter will know you have ‘retweeted’ their message and may return with a thank you and/or a follow. In turn you develop relationships with people by performing this action. In turn, you should return a ‘thank you’ message to anyone who retweets (RT’s) your messages.
Mentions
You should reply to every person who mentions you, so make sure you check your mentions frequently. Similar to your other social media strategies; you should follow up on every comment and be the last person to speak in the conversation. Whether that be with a “thank you” or a response to a question.
Following
It is entirely up to you whether you want to follow those who follow you. I suggest you go through your followers list once a week and follow back those you feel that are relevant. I generally don’t follow anyone who hasn’t bothered to put in a profile and/or is not interesting. Look out for how often the person/business is tweeting. Also, watch out for spam! Proactively follow other businesses that are similar to you and retweet their tweets to grab their attention, and the attention of their fans. It is also a good idea to say hello to anyone that follows you, but that is entirely up to you. Another technique to increase awareness is to follow those who follow your competition.
Followers
You can choose to have your profile public or private, which will determine the amount of moderation you have over who can follow you and see your tweets. For a business you will most likely have a public profile, which means that anyone can see your tweets and anyone can follow you. You can block spammers and anyone you do not want to be associated with. 
Hash Tags
Hash Tags are used in twitter ( and other applications – Instagram, for example) to categorise information. They are used to help mark content on twitter, making it easier to find relevant information. You should start using hash tags on your tweets that are relevant to what you are talking about. If you are unsure what to do, search twitter for has tags and see what other people are using for the same content.
Trending
Twitter is renowned for trending topics. Basically something will be ‘trending’ if it is being mentioned a lot on twitter. A great feature for finding out what is popular in your city. 
Lists
If you are prone to being nicely organised, like me, you can organise lists of people. This is particularly h andy if you follow a lot of people and you need to manage you followers a little. You can make your lists public or private.
Etiquette
This may seem a little basic, but if you are representing your business be polite and kind, say please and thank you, don’t use foul language. I also use first names where I can, which I think is a nice touch.
Favourites
You can made good use of the favourites feature. You can use it to ‘bookmark’ all your favourite tweets, and I also use it when I don’t have time to read the content. The favourites feature allows me to come back to the list later when I have time to read it properly.

Applications – Making life a little easier

Twitter

You can get a twitter app for almost every mobile platform now. The app is great as it allows you to manage more than one twitter account at a time.

Flipboard

Flipboard is a fun and great looking mobile app that allows you to ‘flip’ though various social media platform news feeds with great ease. Avaialble on the iPhone and iPad. In my opinion this is much easier to use than the Twitter app, although it does have some disadvantages (cannot post to a Facebook business page, alternate between twitter accounts)

TweetDeck

Tweetdeck is available as a desktop application and mobile application, now operated by Twitter. I use Tweetdeck to manage all my platforms. At a glance I am able to see who is talking about what, which is a great way to manage your online reputation. The main features are the following: –

Scheduling updates
You can use tweetdeck to schedule updates in the future. A great feature but should not be used too often as you still want your updates to appear natural. You could use this to schedule updates when you are particularly busy, or when you need to send out an update at an exact time but you are afraid you might forget. You can also use this feature to repeat updates, e.g. a blog or competition.
Search Columns
You can set up an individual column for each search term, making it really easy to manage your searches and filters. I posted a blog about advanced search techniques for tweet deck here – Searching using tweetdeck.
Multiple social networks in one place
You can literally see everything; multiple twitter accounts and Facebook business pages, etc. You can also send messages out to multiple place at the one time, which is great. For example, you could send a message to twitter and Facebook at the same time. You can also manage your personal facebook page.
URL shorten
Tweetdeck allows you to fit more into your 140 characters by shortening your url’s. Although sometimes you don’t want to do that, and you can stop Tweetdeck from shortening.

There are a lot more applications out there. It would be great to read about your favourite applications and if you have any tips for those trying to get to grips with twitter. Please feel free to share your thoughts by commenting below.

Thanks,

Chris.

A main concern for many business people who are thinking about representing their business online and on social media platforms is being able to deal with negative feedback effectively.

I have dealt with negative feedback online before in various circumstances. However, had I not created a solid platform for encouraging feedback then I may never have found out about the negative feedback, let alone having the opportunity to do anything about it!

There are many advantages linked to receiving negative feedback…most of all it makes you aware of how you can improve your services.

This is one reason why I would encourage you to get involved with the major social media platforms and tap into what your customers are talking about online. This way you will have more opportunity to be able to deal with any negative feedback, possibly prevent it completely and improve your services all at the same time!

A few tips…

Here are a few ways to deal with negative feedback on social media platforms: –

Respond quickly

The worst thing that you can do is ignore anything negative, the best thing to do is respond quickly. Other customers will be able to see your non-response too so be aware of that and what kind of impression that gives. There is much more strength in dealing with the negative feedback head on. Initially you could even respond with “Thanks for your feedback, we will get back to you shortly with a full response” (if the type of feedback allows something like this). This way the customer will know that someone has picked it up and it will put them at ease for a little while.

Don’t make any agreement publicly

I would advise that you do not offer any discounts or returns publicly. Ask the customer to pop back or follow up by email with an offer. You don’t want to start any trends with any ‘chancers’ that might be reading your responses.

Take it offline

If you feel that the conversation is going to get messy or you feel there is a lot of risk, then ask the customer to email you privately. I have had to do this a few times, and in extreme circumstances I had to remove the comment from our Facebook page (unfortunately you do not get the same opportunities on other platforms such as TripAdvisor). So, do not feel that you don’t have any other options.

If you are in doubt about what to do I am more than happy to advise, all you need to do is contact me by email or via the contact form.

Use the same techniques you normally would

The key thing to remember is to use the same techniques as you would if you were speaking to the customer face to face, i.e. show empathy, make sure the customer knows that you are taking the issue seriously and that you are going to do something about it. It is likely that the customer will respond positively to a proactive and empathetic response. Remember to follow up with a final response so the customer knows the outcome.

I am interested to hear about other experiences people have had. Please feel free to share by commenting below.

Thanks,

Chris.

This blog has been bubbling away in the background for a few weeks/months and I have eventually found the time to put this out. Also, today I watched a video on Entrepreneur.com, which has encouraged me to get this out!

I agree with what Chris Brogan says and I see it a lot – business talking only about their business services and products with very little thought into how the business can interact with their customers. It is important to diversify your updates and posts, and tap into what you customers are talking about. Depending on what type of business you run, it may be difficult and time consuming to take time out to think creatively and create rich content in order find ways to interact with your audience…but it is worth it! … and there are so many other things to talk about!

What are the benefits of stimulating interaction and engagement?

A focussed Facebook campaign or strategy will (amongst other things): –

  • Generate more awareness of your business products and services
  • Increase your page ‘likes’ (which is used as an indication or measurement of success)
  • Strengthen relationships with your customers

Tips for engagement

Here are some tips and thoughts for you. Hopefully these basic ideas will kick start a thought process in your mind and help and encourage you to find something, non-core business related, to talk about on Facebook ( and other social media platforms).

Frequent updates
You can post up to 4 times per day without becoming overly spammy – depending on what you are talking about. If you space your updates out over the course of a day you will find that you will catch the majority of your audience. You will also start to find what time of day is best for interaction based on your insights. This will help you to concentrate your efforts and make the best use of your time.
Gather Feedback
You can use Facebook to gather feedback about your products and services. You can encourage people to leave comments on your Facebook page and you can also embed a Survey Monkey tab on your Facebook page, containing a survey for your customers to complete.
Special offers, competitions and ‘give-aways’
You can increase your presence on Facebook by find a way to incorporate a competition (or similar) with a Facebook activity. For example, getting your customers to share a post with their friends to be entered into a prize draw. 
Share local news
Talk about events and activities taking place in the local area. Promote your local town or village. This can be easy to do, as the information may be getting published by another source…so all you need to do is share it on Facebook.
Gather opinions & polling
You can use Facebook to gather opinions from your customers. Facebook also has the ‘Questions’ feature that allows you to ‘poll’ your customers. A great way of gathering opinions on anything, and it is also interactive.
Tips/How to guides
You can educate your guests and customers. For example, if you are a baker, make short videos on how to bake cakes; if you are a hair stylist make some short videos on how to put your hair up, or straighten your hair. 
Behind the scenes information
You can share pictures and videos from ‘behind the scenes’ in your business. There is a Facebook YouTube application that can be added to your page which will embed your YouTube channel on your page. There are also may other apps that you can use.
Trivia
Get some trivia going on your page. Again, you could use the Questions application for this purpose. You could do pretty much anything with your trivia.
Exclusive Facebook voucher codes
You can post voucher codes regularly on you Facebook page, that will be exclusive for Facebook ‘fans’ only. You could also incorporate this with a Facebook activity (e.g. liking the page, sharing a post).

There are many other things that you can be doing and I hope this has helped you to start thinking about how you change things up a little on your Facebook page.

I encourage comments, so please feel free to add your thoughts below.

Please email me if you would like to contact me privately.

Thanks,

Chris.