L&P Social Media launch at the Newark Business Club this Friday

Paul from PR Wilson Media and I are sponsoring & presenting at the Newark Business Club this week; it’ll mean a really early start to get organised by 7am!

Nonetheless it will be exciting to officially launch our brand new, fully comprehensive, locally based social media services partnership – L&P Social Media. Together we really can offer a complete, end-to-end and fully customizable range of services.

So look forward to seeing you at The EverydImageay Champions Centre on the 4th & sharing our absolute passion for making social media work for you and your business. There will be an exclusive offer available to those attending :)

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Turn customers into brand advocates

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Turn customers into brand advocates

Here’s something that caught my eye. Forbes recently published an article about turning loyal customers into ‘brand advocates’. Based on what we do at The Best of Grantham and The Best of Newark I found this really interesting. Here are some of the top tips:
• Find your advocates
Ask – Are you likely to recommend on a scale of 0-10? You can ask this question across the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
• Make it easy for your fans to recommend you
Give them the online tools to review you. Great testimonials combat negative reviews and improve SEO. Positive recommendations boost awareness and brand reputation
• Share the love and leverage the content
Once you have the reviews don’t just sit on them; amplify them across social media channels. Pop up testmonials at each step of the consumers purchase path. Build up a profile of your advocates so you can readily engage with them
• Keep it authentic
Your reviews must be genuine. If the review is filled with keywords or the writer is incentivised then it is unlikely to engage prospects. Don’t pimp out your customers!

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James Bond #007 faces his latest threat – armed only with an iPhone

Driving a powerful car was like making love to a beautiful woman, mused Bond

Bond was glad to put the city behind him. He gunned the willing throttle of the DB9 Coupe and heard the satisfying growl of the twin tailpipes, as the powerful six litre engine sprang to life. Less than 30 minutes later, he was driving fast through the English countryside, as the Autumn sunset flooded the darkening sky with vivid colours. As he made a racing change and swung the car through an S bend, he felt a soft, but urgent vibration through the fabric of his Sea Island Cotton shirt. What now?

He pulled the gun-metal grey Aston Martin over into a lay-by and reached into his pocket for the latest gadget from Q Branch – an iPhone 5 (“Do take care of this one, 007” Q had warned). He glanced at the device’s screen and smiled to himself. It was a calendar reminder for his hotel reservation and dinner that evening. Good old Moneypenny – trust her to think of everything.

Bond took a moment to check his Twitter account. #SecretMissileLaunch was trending – this situation was looking much worse than M had suggested. He opened the glove compartment and took out a can of Red Bull – his second that evening – to help him face the long night ahead. In the good old days, he would have popped a Benzedrine tablet and washed it down with Champagne. How times had changed, reflected Bond.

“Do you have Wi-Fi?” Bond asked the girl

He pressed on and soon arrived at the floodlit, 11th century castle, now one of Britain’s most striking and luxurious hotels.

The pretty receptionist greeted him with a welcoming smile. Her honey-sweet voice broke in on his thoughts, “Your name, please sir?”

“Bond. James Bond. Oh, and can I have Wi-Fi in the room please?”

“Of course, Mr Bond” said the obliging girl, who, according to her name badge, was called Kylee. Bond made a mental note to check her out on Facebook later.

As he kicked shut the door to his suite, Bond slung his Aspinal ‘Grand Tourer’ holdall onto the king-sized bed. He switched on his Onyx Dell Adamo laptop and followed the hotel’s simple Wi-Fi connection instructions. After nineteen log-on attempts and three calls to reception, he was finally connected to the internet.

As he surfed, Bond opened his engraved, solid silver Dunhill cigarette case and took out a Nicorette Gum tablet, his 50th that day. His first task was to check Twitter. His friend and colleague, @008, had Tweeted greetings from #Jamaica and, for a moment or two, Bond’s mind drifted to the sun-kissed, white sands of that faraway isle.

That was odd. M had unfollowed him for some reason.

Ah, Mr Bond! We’ve been expecting you

Bond then spent some time searching LinkedIn and what he found next made his blood run cold. A new Group had been set up for people with a shared interest in world domination, under the name of SPECTRE. SPECTRE? That could mean only one thing. Bond’s archenemy and evil genius Ernst Stavro Blofeld must have discovered the power of social media! Bond followed one of the links to You Tube and clicked ‘play’.

“On Friday at noon, giant secret missiles will be fired at all of Europe’s capital cities” said a chilling, faceless voice. But there could be no mistaking the identity of its sinister owner. As Bond watched the gloved hand slowly stroking the impassive White Persian cat, his face set into a mask of grim determination. This maniac had to be stopped and it was up to Bond to stop him.

Where would this end? As he updated his Facebook status and searched for Kylee, he lost the Wi-Fi connection again. It really was going to be a long night, thought Bond.

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Less is more – just ask @BarackObama

ImageTwitter is one of the most powerful social media tools available to business owners. Fact. But how do you get your message into just 140 characters? Isn’t it a bit limiting?

Well, just think about these short, yet powerful phrases:

  • “I love you”
  • “You’re fired”
  • “Will you marry me?”
  • “I do”
  • “You’ve passed”

All of them convey important – even life-changing – messages, but all do so in much less than 140 characters. This approach can be very powerful when using Twitter and this week we were treated to a masterclass in economy of words by none other than the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

You have probably seen Clint Eastwood’s odd, rambling attempt at humour at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, in which ‘Dirty Harry’ addressed an imaginary President represented by empty chair.

The response from the President’s official Twitter account was swift, witty and powerful. The three-word Tweet simply said; “This seat’s taken”, accompanied by a picture of the back of the President’s (occupied) chair at the White House. Brilliant! In just three words, the President dismissed the whole thing and, more importantly, reasserted his leadership. Whatever your political views, this was social media genius. No wonder it’s been re-tweeted more than 50,000 times.

Sometimes, less is definitely more.

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Twitter Dos and Don’ts

It’s easy to turn your Twitter followers off if you’re not careful!

In case you didn’t see the Sunday Times magazine last week, the issue was devoted to Twitter. As well as who to follow (and some to avoid), there was a helpful, fun list of dos and don’ts, under the heading “Twitterquette” by resident problem-solver, Mrs Mills.

Here’s that list in full:

Don’t overtweet: my number one reason to stop following someone is because they tweet too often. It is just annoying when your timeline starts filling up with aimless tweets because someone is stuck on a train, bored.

Don’t humblebrag: retweeting praise is the preserve of pondlife. The rest of the world doesn’t care, nor do we want our timelines cluttered with you RT-ing “Loved the column this week, you’re a genius xxx”.

Don’t drink and tweet: actually, I’m conflicted about this because it is very funny when someone starts tweeting about her man’s inadequacies while mispplling evVry other worm. She will regret it in the morning, but it’s been hilarious for the rest of us.

Don’t plug: while email dies a spam-induced death, so far Twitter remains a commercially light zone. Let’s keep it that way.

Do have a picture, not an egg: it’s just bad manners and suggest you are trying to stay anonymous, i.e., only one step away from being a psychopath. Some twitterers think it is also bad form to lurk – that is to follow lots of people but never tweet. Actually, can’t see anything wrong with this – it’s called being an audience.

Do remember everyone can see what you are saying: so if you’re 15, think twice before announcing how bad your hangover is, and if you’re the parent just remember before you start tweeting about the glories of your husband in the shower.

Don’t make social arrangements: it’s very annoying for your followers to find their timelines clogged with you arranging to meet a friend (shall we go for a drink? – which pub? – what time can you…zzzz). Use direct messaging, text or even (gasp!) telephone.

Don’t tweet things nobody wants to know: few of your followers will be interested in what you had for breakfast, that you’ve just missed the bus, or that your hair needs washing – unless you want to reduce your number of followers to immediate family and perverts.

Don’t @ celebrities: this is the cool view, particularly in America but, really, I don’t see why not? What are they on Twitter for otherwise? It would be like turning up to a party and expecting not to be spoken to – just arrogant. So do @ celebrities.

Thank you Mrs Mills – good advice!

For information on managing your social media activity contact me at www.louisehudson.co.uk

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How to protect yourself when using social media sites

Are you happy that your personal information is safe online?

This tweet above – from the parody twitter account, ‘made-up stats’ – really made me laugh! But behind the humour was the worrying news that 6 million LinkedIn passwords had been obtained by hackers. A few of the businesses I work with have asked me about online security, so I thought it might be useful to summarise a few simple steps you can take to minimise your risks.

  1. Don’t give any more information than is necessary or requested. When registering for a service, the required fields are usually indicated by an asterisk. Just fill out these fields only.
  2. Personal information is just that – personal. Respect the personal privacy of others by not posting their information such as their name, address, photo or phone number without their consent.
  3. Be aware of who is collecting, using or disclosing your information – just because you are on one site, doesn’t mean your personal information will be restricted to that site.
  4. Consider your password-recovery questions. Any information commonly used to recover a password should be kept private. This includes things like your mother’s maiden name, your pet’s name, your favourite books and films or the place you were born.
  5. Be careful about opening links from senders you don’t recognise. On Twitter, never open a link from someone you follow that says “I can’t believe what they’re saying about you here” or similar. It means their account has been hacked by spammers. If this happens to you, change your password at once.
  6. Consider changing you passwords on all of your social network sites regularly and don’t use the same password for every site.
  7. You don’t need to divulge personal information to communicate personal experience. Be general when appropriate (in forums or tweets) and detailed when necessary and safe (in a direct or private message).
  8. Carefully check your privacy settings and adjust the settings to protect your personal information. Social network sites often update privacy settings so get into the habit of regularly reviewing your profile.

These commonsense steps will help you get the most out of social media and protect you and your online reputation.

 

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The future’s bright – the future’s #social. The power of social media

Successful businesses are adopting a social strategy

Would you like your customers to be happier? How about a big increase in new business leads? And what business wouldn’t want more sales?

Well, those are just some of the benefits that businesses which embrace social media can expect. In fact, according to leading consultants McKinsey, companies that adopt social technologies can experience a 50% increase in customer satisfaction, a 48% increase in business leads, and a 24% increase in revenue.

There’s a revolution going on right now. The world is changing faster than we could ever have imagined. Smart business owners recognise this and have put social at the heart of their thinking and strategy.

A couple of examples of the power of social media include Netflix, the online TV and movie provider. When Netflix announced changes to its pricing structure, its customers revolted, posting 82,000 negative comments across its blogs and on Twitter and Facebook. Within months the company lost 800,000 customers and more than 60% of its market value.

By contrast, major airline KLM successfully used the power of social media to its advantage. KLM engages customers on the social web, where they can ask questions, check in for flights and have conversations about travel plans. In one innovative campaign, KLM surprised passengers who had checked in on Twitter at the airport with a personalised gift – something to enjoy on their trip. This created a huge amount of goodwill that will turn into customer loyalty.

And locally, in Newark and Grantham, I’ve seen some great examples of businesses successfully engaging with their communities and benefiting from it.

The thing is, with social media, everything happens faster than ever before.

Companies that respond to this and become social enterprises will connect with everything that’s important. They will be the successful companies of the future.

For more information on social media marketing, visit Louise Hudson’s website here.

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