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Is Twitter dying?

Blog post written by Dave Henson | 29 October 2015 | Category: Social media

TwitterTry typing ‘is twitter dying’ into Google and you’ll find a whole bunch of articles that suggest it is. Now admittedly you can replace the word ‘twitter’ with any number of things and find numerous results – I tried it and did – but there is genuine concern that Twitter has lost its way and that it might be about to fade into obscurity.

I was quite active on Twitter a few years ago but I didn’t find that it helped my business, which was the main reason for me being on it. I know of a few people who say that Twitter does work for them but the people I have in mind have been prolific tweeters for a long time and have the skill and ability to actually post interesting tweets thereby engaging with people and starting conversations.

Despite a brand recognition of 90%, Twitter only has 30% penetration and there is evidence that ordinary people are posting less and less, leaving it to celebrities, big brands and journalists and becoming less active on it themselves.

There is also evidence that people are finding Twitter an unpleasant place to be. It’s like an unpoliced no-go area in a dystopian town where people can walk around anonymously and abuse, threaten, harass and bully other people with impunity.

I’d be interested in hearing other people’s views. Do you still use Twitter and does it work for you?

The Facebook Blue Whale

Blog post written by Dave Henson | 27 April 2015 | Category: Social media

Facebook Blue Whale

One of the things we have noticed on the Facebook pages we manage is that despite being a diverse range of pages, the graphs that show the times of day when people are engaging with the pages are strikingly similar.

I’ve decided to call it the Facebook Blue Whale because as you can see from my artistic endeavours, the shape of the graph resembles said beast.

Below is a montage of five graphs from pages we manage and, as you can see, in all cases engagement with Facebook creeps up during the course of the day peaking in the evening between about 8 and 10pm.

This has two important implications. Firstly, if you want to engage with the fans of your page, post to Facebook at those times. Secondly, bear in mind that they are probably sitting down relaxing and browsing Facebook on their smartphone or tablet in front of Coronation Street so don’t try selling to them or being commercial. Engaging on Facebook is all about being informative, entertaining and/or educational.

So use the power of the Facebook Blue Whale today!

Facebook graphs

The value of LinkedIn endorsements

Blog post written by Dave Henson | 15 October 2013 | Category: Social media

I keep getting emails from LinkedIn telling me that so-and-so has endorsed me for various skills. It’s all very nice to be recognised on a daily basis for being proficient in this, that and the other but what are these endorsements all about and, more importantly, do they really enhance your credibility?  

My biggest issue with these endorsements is that I am getting them from people who don’t really know whether I am any good at what they say I am because they have never used me for those skills. I guess it’s easy enough to go onto the Novamedia website and take a look at our portfolio or our great testimonials and infer (quite rightly) from those that we are good at what we do and then to endorse us, but if you’ve never used us for these services then you cannot be 100% sure.

And then when I go onto LinkedIn to confirm the endorsement, I am asked if I’d like to endorse various people I am connected to for various skills. The skills listed incidentally, are apparently generated programmatically by LinkedIn from the user’s profile and other information. It is really easy to endorse Fred Bloggs for his skills in Event Organisation – it’s just a matter of clicking one button and then it’s done and Fred is replaced by someone else with another skill who you can just as easily endorse.

It has been compared to the Facebook ‘Like’ button. It’s certainly as easy to use as that.

It seems to me that it is just a way of driving traffic to LinkedIn and to try to get people going to the site regularly. To me there is limited value in collecting endorsements but if other people are not aware of how easy it is to endorse someone and how widespread endorsement collection is becoming, they might place a greater value on seeing someone on LinkedIn with hundreds of endorsements to their name.

I would much rather collect testimonials from people who have used us and who had something valuable to say about our services, attitude and business. So just in case you haven’t already clicked on the link above to our testimonials, here is a sample to whet your appetite:

Over my long career, I have worked with many companies, but Novamedia stands heads above all the others. Their professionalism and project management can only be described as "the best of the best"
Elizabeth Anne 'Betiayn' Tursi, National Chair, Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF)

Related blog posts

The Social Media Matrix

The Social Media Matrix

Blog post written by Dave Henson | 29 April 2013 | Category: Social media

So you’ve got this patchwork of disparate presences online – your website, your Facebook page, maybe a Twitter account and a YouTube channel. You might even be running email marketing campaigns like we do. Individually they may well work as a marketing method for your business but how can you make them work together so that they become supercharged and even more effective?

We put together a system which takes all of our social media presence and also includes email marketing and our blog and we worked out a method of how they should interact. We call it our social media matrix. We’ve used it successfully ourselves and for some of our clients.

This is the social media matrix:

The matrix outlines what should happen if you want to do any of the things in the left hand column. So for example, if we receive a new testimonial from a client, we take the following action:

  • Firstly of course, it is added to our website.
  • It’s mentioned on Facebook with a link back to the testimonial on the website. (Or the whole testimonial could be put onto Facebook. We might also consider putting the client’s logo or person’s face on the Facebook post).
  • We tweet about the testimonial again with a link through to the testimonials page on our website. (We would probably tweet about it more than once, possibly adding it to a list of scheduled tweets).
  • We post an update on LinkedIn with a link back to the testimonials page on our website.
  • We might also add it to our monthly email campaign if it is relevant.

The matrix ensures that we don’t waste any opportunities to make the most of any information or content that we have and that it is shared on as many channels as possible.

It also emphasises the on-going importance of your website because whilst it might not be your only online presence these days, it is still one of the most important as your other online presences will invariably point to information and content that you’ve put on your website.

Why not try using our social media matrix in your business and let me know how you get on?

Things that wind me up on Twitter

Blog post written by Dave Henson | 14 March 2012 | Category: Social media

Dear readers, I have to warn you that I am about to go into Grumpy Old Man (GOM) mode. I'm not normally a GOM (although my wife might dispute that) so please indulge me as I let off a bit of steam (or alternatively, don't read on, it's entirely up to you).

Now I've been using Twitter for quite a while now and, day by day, more and more people enter the arena. More people are following me every day although I've got a long way to go to get to Lady Gaga's 20 million followers (in fact I've got well over 19,999,000 to go but that's not the point).

There are a lot of people who use Twitter perfectly well. They are interesting, engaging and, funnily enough, they get my attention. Strange that, isn't it? But there are many others who don't and these people I tend to ignore or even unfollow.

So what are these people doing that gets my goat. I've listed a few things below. You may agree or not agree with these – I'd like to hear your comments.

People who sell all the time
Yes we know you're on Twitter to get new business but if you keep tweeting 'Buy, buy, buy' then I'm afraid it's 'Bye, bye, bye' from me.

FFs without a reason
If you want me to follow someone of a Friday, do one at a time and give me a good reason. If you tweet '#FF' followed by a bunch of names, why am I going to click on any of them to find out why I should follow them? Hint: I'm not!

People using quotation books
This one winds me up. If you haven't got anything interesting to say, don't pick up a book of clever quotations off of your shelf and tweet these ad nauseum. And if you've stuck a whole bunch of these in scheduled tweets then shame on you.

People who are not interesting
Try to be interesting on Twitter. You'll get my attention. Even be a bit edgy as long as you don't go too far. Then if you throw in a proportion of business tweets as well, they'll also get read.

People who tweet loads all in one go
I keep my tweets in lists. It's mostly the people I find interesting and engaging that are in these lists and they are the ones that get looked at the most. But if you fire off a large number of tweets in one go and take over my list so that everyone else is pushed down, you're going to get removed from the list which means I won't see any of your tweets.

People who use loads of hashtags, links and gobbledegook
If a tweet is just a link and a bunch of hashtags I'm very unlikely to click on it. If I can't make sense of the tweet in a few seconds then I'll move on to the next one.

Thinking it's OK not to spell correctly
There are two schools of thought on this one. Some people say that it's OK to fire off a tweet in a hurry and not worry about the spelling. I guess you could argue that a badly spelt tweet that gets click-throughs is better than no tweet at all. But even better is a correctly spelt tweet that gets attention. Good spelling and grammar is also polite. If it's not correct, it forces the reader to work harder.

Not having the nous to précis text
If you can't fit everything into 140 characters, learn how to précis. That doesn't mean converting 'your' to 'ur' (Ur was an ancient Sumerian city – see you can learn something from reading my blog!). Try to re-word the tweet whilst still keeping it readable. It only takes a few seconds to do.

Social media 'experts'
I'm followed by loads of social media 'experts'. Now I'm not saying that there's no such thing as a social media expert but I don't want to be on Twitter just to be told how to use Twitter all of the time.

Please retweet
I'll retweet if I think it's interesting. You don't have to ask. In fact if you do ask, I'm likely not to retweet – I'm a bit contrary at times!

People telling me how many followers they've got
You don't need to tweet to tell me how many followers you have or how many you've got to go to get to some landmark number. I can find that out for myself if I'm interested.

Abbreviations and acronyms
Actually I'm OK with a lot of these. I don't mind OMG, WTF and LOL (although I have my doubts if people really are laughing out loud when they type LOL and certainly ROFLMAO is never to be taken literally). But the more obscure ones are unlikely to have me Googling for their meaning so I'll probably just ignore them instead. So DUOA. See?

Abuse, racism, cowardice etc.
Finally of course it goes without saying that anyone using Twitter to be abusive, racist, sexist and so on will be unfollowed and possibly reported. Nuff said.

...and calm...
I feel much better having got all that off my chest. If you're new to Twitter I hope it helped. If you've been using it for some time you might feel there are a few things I've left off of the list - let me know. I'm off to make a cup of tea!