We are hiring a Social Media Manager!

Recruiting Social Media Manager

You will be an experienced account manager with a proven track record of commercialising social media for business growth. You will have managed successful social media campaigns and be able to provide recent examples of these. As a digital citizen you will appreciate the importance of measuring reach and will have the ability to track your campaigns, reporting regularly on their impact.

A lively self starter, you will thrive under pressure and be able to manage multiple accounts simultaneously. Your written skills will be exemplary and you will be confident in working with senior management teams, using a variety of media to communicate in a timely fashion.

To apply, send us 500 words explaining how you would manage a social media account, ensuring brand promotion and protection and tangible business related outcomes and impact measures.

Long Jump Social Media

Optimal Lengths for Social Media Content

In recent years, as time continues to tick, traditional media is being neglected as digital media comes into prominence. Given that the power of the internet allows all users to become authors, use of the digital space is adopted more so by individuals and organisations alike. One of the great benefits of creating digital content, is that the limitations such as: how much space is left on a page? Are too many images included? Is the text too small, are completely non-existent. However, with that being said, there’s no question that there are digital principles in place that need to be taken into consideration when posting on social media.

As such, it’s important to see in the eyes of your target audience and contemplate whether you’d be interested in listening, reading or watching a piece of content that is too long. Ask yourself one question, ‘will I get bored half way through?’ and be honest with yourself, even if it was yourself that created the content. To make things seem more straight forward, here are some valuable guidelines to abide by, when creating different forms of content on social media platforms:

Character count

  • Tweets – 71-100 [Tweets including this number of characters can produce 17% higher engagement)
  • > Facebook – 40 [Posts including 40 characters can gain up to 86% higher engagement than those with more characters]
  • > Google+ – 60 [The first line of the main content must grab the reads attention, if the headline can not fit on one line – to ensure content is read]
  • > Paragraphs – 40-55 [Larger fonts in opening paragraphs entices the reader and allows them too jump to the section in which they find of most interest]
  • > URL Domains –  8 [Be sure to keep domains short, sweet, easy to spell and read. Numbers and symbols should be avoided and URL’s should end in .com, preferably]
  • > Hashtags (#) – 6 [Ensure that the use of slang, number and spaces are limited, unless they’re appropriate and necessary to your campaign]
  • > Email subject lines – 28-39 [Email subject lines receive a higher open rate than those of a higher character count]
  • > Title Tags – 55 [Be wary that titles that exceed this limitation will be shortened with an ellipsis]

Word Count

  • > Blog Title – 6 [Readers tend to read the first and last 3 words within a title, so whatever you decide to choose as your blog title, make sure it packs punch!]
  • > LinkedIn Post – 25 [When marketing to businesses aim to contain 16-25 words. However, if marketing to consumers, aim for 21-25 words, to encourage shares]
  • > Blog Post – 1,600 [74% of posts are read that take approx. 3 minutes long and 94% are under 6 minutes]

Number of Minutes

  • > YouTube –  3 [The shorter the better. On average, the top 50 videos on the platform last 3 minutes]
  • > Podcasts – 22 [Listeners tend to stay engaged for 22 minutes. Take into consideration the audience’s varied attention spans]
  • > Ted Talks – 18 [Based on the threshold given by Ted Talks – max. of 18 minutes – and varied attention spans, this amount of time is deemed adequate]
  • > Slideshare – 6 [With abiding by good presentation rules and including a engaging design, when including multiple slides, presentations need to be no longer than 6 minutes]

(Original source)

Celebrating Enterprise Award Ceremony 2014

23rd October, 2014. That’s a day I shall always remember. The 2014 SFEDI Enterprising and Entrepreneurs celebratory lunchtime event held at the House of Lords, Parliament. As I stated in my previous blog, never in a million years did I imagine being invited to such a prestigious event, with such influential people across the UK. Lucky was an understatement.

An early start with the train from Birmingham (I met my colleagues along the way) before the four of us went on to Parliament. With an hour or so to kill we were able to explore this famous building – The Great Hall, House of Lords and sitting in the public library of the House of Commons, that was an experience in itself.

An hour and several security checks later, we were guided through to the function. A beautiful marquee leading onto a private terrace overlooking the Thames and the whole of Westminster, surrounded by determined entrepreneurs. With a range of champagne and divine canapes I knew the next few hours – much to my disappointment – would fly by.

From Enterprising Learner provider to IOEE Centre of Excellence; I was lucky enough to not only be amongst the crowd but also be one of the attendees who had been nominated and shortlisted. Nervously flicking through the Sfedi/IOEE brochure time and time again, repeatedly surprised to noticed myself being featured, I realised the time was getting closer.  Six nominees:  when reading the explanation regarding each nomination it finally hit me –  I wasn’t doing too bad for myself, and it was an honour to be up against and even compared to these other candidates from across the UK.

Some of the nominees had stated how they spent the past “20 years educating her children”, another with “ten years working in a power station”, then there was me, my first job since school, just 19.

The award was won by Paul Dolman, who after being made redundant after working 10 years in a power station decided to expand his skills and knowledge and become a self employed plumber. His determination after his set back was incredible, and it was such a pleasure to watch him be rewarded.

Myself and the other candidates received highly commended from Sfedi and IOEE. Winning was not the most important thing for me, as I look back over the past 14 months – not only have they been monumental in all the things I have learnt, but also they are my only and first 14 months in enterprising and business, for that I think I can give myself a little bit of credit.

pa

 

 

House of Parliment

I’m an apprentice – and I’m going to the House of Lords!

“apprentice

əˈprɛntɪs/

noun

1. a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages.”

 This is what I was preparing for. Fresh out of school, I got ready to go into the working world to build and hopefully excel in a career in Social Media.  After completing a twelve month course, I achieved a level three qualification and along the way worked with a range of clients,  getting involved in networking events, making some mistakes, but all the time learning and earning.

And it was done. Completed. I was offered a permanent position.

I cannot lie and say it’s been the easiest time. There are daunting factors you have to overcome, such as your first client meeting, first networking event, the moment you first mess up and have to face the consequences. But then I read this:

SFEDI and the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) are holding a Celebrating Enterprise lunchtime event at the House of Lords on Thursday 23rd October, 12.30 – 2.30pm and we are delighted to inform you that Georgia Tims has been shortlisted by our Advisory Council for the Enterprising Learner category/award.”

Pardon me? House of Lords? Shortlisted? Enterprising Learner award? Surely this was a mistake? But it seems somewhere along the lines of my apprenticeship, that twelve month course, and those occasional blips I had done something right, something that I could be proud of.

So, with just a few weeks until the event, the excitement has begun.

I’m looking forward to being able to share my experience with my friends and family and my colleagues at The Social Media Academy.  Look out for my next blog piece shortly after 23rd October.  And keep your fingers crossed for me.

Image

Palace of Westminster, London – Feb 2007” by DiliffOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

LinkedIn Influencer

Top 10 LinkedIn Influencers: Are you following them?

Beatrix Potter, the English author who wrote famous books such as Peter Rabbit once said, “I hold that a strongly marked personality can influence descendants for generations.” 
That is also a view I share as well, the influencers of today motivate and inspire the influencers of tomorrow. But the question is, who are currently the top 10 influencers on LinkedIn you should be looking at? Here is my top 10, if there is anyone you think should be in the list, please say in the comments below!

Top 10 LinkedIn influencers

1) Dharmesh Shah 

Founder and CTO at HubSpot

2) Jeff Weiner

CEO at LinkedIn

3) Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Manager of social innovation at Twitter

4) Clara Shih

5) Sallie Krawcheck

Business Leader at Ellevate Network

6) Pete Cashmore

Founder and CEO, Mashable

7) Guy Kawsaki

Chief Evangelist at Canva
Best article – The art of evangelism

8) Arianna Huffington

President and Editor-in-Chief at The Huffington Post Media Group

9) Jonah Peretti

Founder and CEO of Buzzfeed 
Best article – Memo to the Buzzfeed team

10) Andreas von der Heydt

Head of Kindle Content at Amazon
We also have an emerging influencer at The Social Media Academy, Mark Hamilton-Taylor (Ted Talks – The Top 10 of all time!)
Hashtags Implement

7 Rules to Effectively Implement the #Hashtag

The tool that once never existed is now unavoidable in modern society – the hashtag (#). The branding tool that made its name through Twitter, is not only a trademark, but a symbol that represents the power of social media and the digital environment. Those who are not technically minded, or even signed up to social media platforms are aware of hashtags.

As such, they tend to be attached to advertisement campaigns and other forms of marketing content.  With that being said, the general online community (predominately on hashtag friendly platforms: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for example) frequently use the tool to promote other users content, or to simply be involved within large online discussions, which generate online trends from the frequent and consistent use of the same hashtag, attached to a shareable concept.

When taking into consideration that many are signed up to social sites, there are still others who are still getting use to the social landscape, which can make hashtag implementation within a marketing context a difficult task. As a result, there have been numerous hashtag horror campaigns where a poor understanding of social media turned marketing ideas into an online disaster, with time and money being wasted.

A hashtag is a way in which to organize and advertise an idea. The more appealing the idea, the more likely the hashtag is to be shared, which can greatly increase the odds that social media campaigns on hashtag-friendly platforms will actually see results in the form of conversions for example. To use the hashtag with confidence and generate valuable and meaningful ROI, take a look at the key considerations below:

1. Consistency is key – Hashtags will take time to gain significant traction. However, ensuring that the same one is used when posting and promoting your message (for a prolonged period of time), whilst encouraging online community members to re-post and favourite your content, will help build momentum.

2. Incorporate across multiple channels – By publicly displaying your hashtag in various locations (online and offline), you’ll be able to brand the hashtag’s core idea more clearly with your customers. It’s a proven formula, so it’s definitely worth doing.

3. Capitalise multi-word hashtags for clarity – When hashtags are too long, the primary meaning of the message can be lost. For that reason, the shorter the hashtag, the better. Only on rare occasions will a hashtag include 3 or 4 sort simple words.

4. Use hashtags in sentences – On Twitter, each of the 140 characters are very important and it’s important to make them count. Be as concise as possible and avoid using unnecessary terms. If you can use a hashtag in place of a word without the sentence becoming confusing, do it.

5. Monitor conversations – To effectively keep up with trends within your industry, be sure to monitor hashtags, though it can be a difficult task. Keeping track of conversation will allow you to gain valuable insight into what your competition is doing, what the influencers are saying and how customers are acting and reacting. This will help mold your social media strategy.

6. Informative instead of abstract – Ensure that the term you select for your hashtag is simple and to the point. Over complicating your hashtag can negatively impact your campaign. People will not respond or promote your hashtag if they don’t understand it.

7. Have a back up plan – Just in case unexpected events occur, it’s important to have a back up plan. In the past and even today, many people are not accounting for the messages they send out and forgetting that they’re open for interpretation by thousands, if not millions. Be sure your message is clear and the intent is definitive.

copywriting

10 Attributes of a great copywriter

The art of copywriting can be easier for some then others, though it is a great skill to have. If you have a vast amount of experience in writing essays, letters or blogs, you may find it an easier task than others. However, for those who may not write often, but have a keen interest in becoming a copywriter and wanting to improve their writing skills, here are 10 attributes of great copywriters that employers would look to hire;

1. Vocabulary

Not only does this relate to knowing big-complex words, it’s also based on being aware of the definitions for the words used. Also, being aware of (and using) various synonyms is also a great skill to have.

2. Passion

Like everything else, if you have a passion for what you’re doing you can do well and a passion for writing can be acknowledged through very-well written articles.

3. Precision

The ability to use grammar efficiently and effectively – The devil is in the details of grammar, punctuation and style. From sloppy copywriting, readers presume a sloppy author (aka – your company).

4. Self-editing

A good copywriter knows when their own ideas/writing can be improved upon and are not arrogant when it comes to making changes. Arrogance and stubbornness can reduce quality.

5. Know the rules

When referring to punctuation, grammar & style, they’re are set rules that writers must abide by. As correctness and consistency are of high important, good writers are aware of the rules that govern their form/style of writing.

6. Knows SEO

Although copywriters do not need a vast amount of SEO knowledge, it’s beneficial to know the fundamental basics such as: keywords & anchor text structures. SEO matters most within text, headlines, subheads, meta titles and descriptions.

7. Tells stories

Whereas trends may have differed beforehand, storytelling has now come into prominence again. In terms of content strategies, the ability to create meaningful and engaging stories about a brand and its products or services is deemed favourable than marketing in other forms. The ability to spin yarns is essential for case studies, landing pages, slide presentations and videos for example.

8. Listens

Listening is imperative to multiple aspects of business. As such, listening can aid content creation, as it’s the best way to understand the needs of a company’s leadership and its customers.

9. Understands the business world

Presumably and understandably so, writers can put together great articles about topics they know about. Thus, exceptional copywriters are wary of customer behaviour, the business process and basic business concepts such as features and benefits.

10. Has a sense of humour

Transferring your sense of humour into your writing can allow content to connect and engage more so, as the content itself can feel more ‘personal’ to readers. The ability to do so also prevents the threat of readers becoming bored, half way through reading the text.

#SocialBrum

#SocialBrum: Strategic Growth Through Social Media Seminar – The Review!

On Thursday 9th October, Birmingham got social! After forming an alliance with the Mockingbird Theatre in the Custard Factory, we hosted a free seminar based on 'Strategic Growth through Social Media' in partnership with the great 200 leaders, which turned out to be a great success. From having experience in hosting events of this nature, a thoroughly planned session was delivered, with our attendees interacting and engaging with each other, online and off. This resulted in all of the attendees leaving with a smile on their face, as well as a wealth of knowledge about social media in relation to creating organic growth.

During the seminar we decided to run a experiment, using the hashtag #SocialBrum. In turn this provided an effective visual representation, demonstrating how powerful social media can be in terms of generating exposure and leveraging online commercial opportunities. As such, the results were staggering and most importantly, impressive! Over the course of the morning and early into the afternoon we were able to identify that we achieved 1,000,000+ (update: 2,000,000+) impressions through the use of keyhole.co - and that number is still rising!

Over the course of the seminar, there were many lessons to be learnt however, here are some of the top tweets posted by our attendees, which you can learn from:

Are you targeting the right audience with your #socialmedia? Great morning-thank you @No1socialmedia #SocialBrum pic.twitter.com/TQ2zh3Au2V

Social Media Controversy – The Case of ‘Misogynistic’ Men’s Health Magazine

On the 6th October the male-orientated global magazine Men’s Health generated high levels of interactivity on Twitter… but for all the wrong reasons. After posting an update that reads “She sees the game differently than you. Here’s how, and what to do about it: http://t.co/AaQXS1bsWY pic.twitter.com/fh83bb6Zc4” the extended online community hit back almost immediately. Although, the tweet was intentionally posted to provide humour to the male audience, the humour was very short lived. Approximately 4,800 posts mentioning @MensHealthMag were sent (according to Topsy) and some of these responses included some strong points of view... here are some examples:

In the aftermath the magazine apologised for their mistake and responded by saying “It wasn’t meant to suggest that women are in any way inferior to men, in sports, or anything else. But … we’re sorry that it did” - However, something of this magnitude that has produced a high level of interactivity, will not be forgotten overnight. The story continues to be circulated across multiple social media platforms, and made visible to a wider audience, as the power of social media prevails. Without question, Men's Health have big regrets, so how can we learn from their mistake? Here are some pointers to take into consideration:

  1. Never under-estimate the power of social media
  2. Always take into account that posts can be seen by a global audience and not just your target market
  3. All messages are open to interpretation and perceived differently by others. Therefore, always read over the text in your posts prior to publishing, to protect your brand image.

Google and the History of its Algorithm

When originally introduced in the late 90’s, the main focus for Google’s founders – Larry Page and Sergey Brin – was to create a spam free search engine results page (SERP). Since then, the original objective has been achieved and the search engine has continuously developed over the years with numerous updates to its algorithm, design and presented results.

As such, more opportunities have been created by Google with its multi-functional platform, which can be taken advantage of by businesses to reap many benefits.Thus, over the years Google has played a key role in leveraging business’ online presence by acting as a key contributor, influencer and determinator of potential success. Nowadays, your ranking on SERPs can act as indicator of efficient and effective PR and inbound marketing practises.

 With the algorithm continuously being updated, here is a run through of the main updates that have taken place over recent years, to gain a better understanding of where Google once were, and where it could potentially end up;

  • Boston (2003) – As the first Google update to be tagged with a name, the changes saw a combination of algorithm and major index refresh changes.panda 2
  • Florida (2003) – The Florida update introduced a new era of SEO (search engine optimisation), whereby keyword stuffing and 90’s tactics were flawed.
  • Austin (2004) – Supposedly cleaning up what the Florida update missed, the changes involved an increased crack down on spam-like on-page tactics such as invisible text and Meta data stuffing.
  • Big Daddy (2005) – This update took place in December, through till March ‘06, which impacted website redirection, URL canonicalisation and other related components.
  • Vince (2009) – Somewhat controversial, this update led webmasters to believe that big brands were favoured on SERPs, which would make life more difficult for mid-market SMB’s – they were not too happy.Pengers
  • Caffeine (2010) – The rate at which the internet was indexed and how was improved, which allowed the platform to support the vast amount of content that is created today. Also, indexation became more dynamic resulting in a 50% fresher index.
  • Panda/Farmer (2011) – Officially named Panda by Google and prior to its launch tagged Farmer by SEOs, the update focused on spam, thin content, content farms, scrapers and sites with high ad-to-content ratios.
  • Freshness (2011) – An extension of the index infrastructure introduced by Caffeine, the latest and most relevant content was rewarded on the SERPs, impacting 35% of all searches.
  • Venice (2012) – Aggressively localised SERPs by incorporating local search data.
  • Penguin (2012) – identifying and diminishing websites that were considered over-optimized and sites purposely built for search engines and not people.google-hummingbird
  • EMD (2012) – The exact-match-domain update devalued URLs that included desirable keyword phrases. Like the Vince update, it was thought by some that big brands were again favoured to do better, this time organically.
  • Hummingbird (2013) – One of the most significant updates by Google, which evolved its core algorithm and indexing infrastructure. This was in order to gain an understanding of the relationship between words and subsequent queries, whilst laying down foundations for the Knowledge Graph and mobile search.

As time has moved on, SEO has played an incremental part in defining relevance to Google’s algorithm. However, it could be argued that the value of SEO is slowly deteriorating as the signals it conveys to Google become weaker, in comparison to those generated by a true brand audience. For that reason, it should be considered that although search engine optimisation efforts need to be maintained, building a genuine audience through heightened inbound marketing and PR efforts is imperative. As a result, the required traffic needed can be generated, whilst sending the desired signals to Google for SERP success.