Friday, June 20, 2014

Twitter Session Length

How long do you think people spend on Twitter in a session, that is when they open Twitter and look at the list of Tweets in front of them?

I reckon it's less than 5 minutes each time. I spend about 3 minutes, but I do check Twitter maybe 10 times a day.

Please respond to these questions in the comments below to share your experience.

The questions are:

1. How long do you spend on a single session on Twitter, on average?

2. How many times a day do you check Twitter?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

3 Big Social Media Mistakes Many Businesses are Making

The social media industry is as new as the automobile industry was a hundred years ago. We don't have rules of the social-media road, a social-media tax or rear view social-media mirrors yet.

But they are all coming.

While we wait for them here are 3 big mistakes many business people are making in relation to social media.

1.  Ignoring it. All this means is that intrepid individuals will start doing it without permission. Do you even know how many of your staff are doing semi-official tweeting or blogging or Facebooking for you? Social media is coming and you can't stop it.

2. Not aligning your social media goals with the goals of your business. The goal of social media is not to get more followers. This is similar to people who think the business goal of having a car is the ability to drive around. Sure there are people who want to do that, but a business needs to align social media to its business goals.

3. Thinking it's just a marketing and PR thing. Human resources, purchasing, the canteen, investment analysts and R&D can all benefit from the research, communications and feedback service that social media is. Don't leave it all to marketeers. Every division can use social media.

It is likely that many business people, (the Ostriches) when confronted with the Tsunami of change that social media represents will simply opt for ignoring it in the hope that it will pass them by.

The are wrong. Better firms will achieve competitive advantage by using social media. This is already happening. And when the rest understand what they might lose they will follow. After the Ostriches are removed.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Proven Social Media Engagement Strategy

Engagement is about building relationships. It’s also about the quality of relationships you have.
The basics of engagement are responding to people, being real, being human, and not taking it all too seriously. If you think about engagement in any social situation, listening as well as talking, telling anecdotes, little secrets, having fun, those are the same things you can also do in social media to drive engagement there too. Social media is still a part of our world.
Social media is as complex as the world we inhabit. Whatever you like to do, whatever your business is, wherever you live, with almost no exceptions, there will be a specialist social media site catering for your interests.
If you don’t believe me look up your interests combined with your city or nearest town in Google or another big search engine. You will find a lot of sites.
Birds of a feather flock together, is a well known phrase. It leads all diamond merchants to a certain street in a certain city, all world class wrestlers to the Olympics and all followers of Game of Thrones to its fan sites.
It would seem obvious then, that if you are selling books, wrestlers outfits or Game of Thrones merchandise that you will stay in regular touch with and participate in the communities that are growing up around each niche interest.
We are all more likely to follow people who have the same interests as us. I like to follow other writers on LinkedIn and Goodreads.
You will find that others who are like you in their interest or beliefs will be more likely to follow you or be part of your community. And I’m not saying that you must stick exclusively to your own group. I do think we should all be open to mixing with people of widely different interest. All I am saying is that when you are looking for engagement it is a good idea to look among people who have similar interests.
Some people wonder how to increase their numbers on Twitter. Twitter is designed as a social network where you follow people and people follow you back. A percentage of the people you follow will always follow you back. If they don’t follow you back within a few days you are within your rights to unfollow them. If they don’t want to see your Tweets then it is reasonable that you stop seeing theirs.
If you are a celebrity or have a relationship with masses of people or you’re a big brand, you should get follows by simply letting people know what your Twitter name (handle) is. For the rest of us, following people and posting interesting Tweets are the main ways to increase your followers.
The number of people you follow each day depends on how much time you want to spend on Twitter and how many followers you have now. I recommend following small numbers each day (20-50), and unfollowing regularly people who don’t follow you back. You will be able to follow more people later on, as the number of people who follow you increases over the number you are following. I can follow 50 people in 30 seconds, so this is not time consuming stuff.
On Facebook it’s all about knowing people first, for personal profiles. People consider is bad form to try and friend them on Facebook if they don’t know you. This is the opposite to Twitter, where people who don’t know you are almost always happy for you to follow them. You can Like “pages” on Facebook however, as these are the public messages of the people or organisations who create them. Pages are not personal profiles. You can create your own “page” for any project, work, role or cause you want and detail the progress of the project through posts about that subject.
Great successes have been achieved on Facebook by people who create useful pages or groups where people can post their experiences with challenging life situations, diseases, and provide practical support services.
With Facebook and Twitter it’s all about what you give back to your community too. If you want to improve engagement you can, for instance, think about the classic social support services around what you do. Is there a way to build a community page or group on some aspect of this?
On LinkedIn and Google+ there are groups and hangouts you can participate in too. The more time you spend on all these sites the more you will get back from them.
The majority of my engagement is still on Twitter, where I get immediate worldwide feedback on a minute by minute basis to my posts.
Your social media engagement strategy will depend on your specific situation.
If you want to learn about the 5 Free Social Media services that work for writers and a lot of other people, click here.
If you want someone to manage your social media for you email me now: 
Thanks for coming by. Your comments are truly appreciated. But anonymous ones won't get posted.

To support this site - over 100 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Building a Loyal Following

Here are three classic methods for building a loyal following, whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or wherever:

1. Provide something of value. Are you an expert? Can you share some of your expertise? Are you funny? Are you talented? Find something you can deliver. Find your purpose.

2. Build trust. Trust is built through reliability, honesty, respect. Do you treat your followers with respect? Are you honest and reliable in your responses?

3. Providing something new. The new-kid-on-the-block phenomena allows everyone with something to say to get some limelight. The challenge is to maintain the innovations. Keep delivering new things and your audience will be loyal and it will grow.

What do you think builds a loyal following?

Monday, May 5, 2014

5 lessons from Social Media success stories- Updated

Social media is the automobile industry and the telephone business of the 21st century combined. The people and organisations who learn how to use the power of social media will benefit and the people who want to stay shackled to yesterday's technology will slowly fade.

Over 50% of the top firms on Wall Street are investing to make social media an integral part of their business. Firms as divergent as Dell ($3 million in revenue attributable directly to Twitter posts), Jet Blue (over a million followers mainly for customer service issues), and IBM (50k in Alumni network on Facebook - just one example of success), are using social media as a core part of what they do.

These are only some of the many examples of effective use of social media. In reviewing these case studies some common themes emerged:

1. The grassroots and the top of these organisations are involved.

2. They have clear guidelines, then they let people get on with it.

3. They learn from mistakes & successes.

4. They empowered widespread participation. They trust employees.

5. They experimented creatively, with Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Wiki's, libraries and more.

If your organisation doesn't get it all yet, maybe you will be the one to inspire them.

To support this site - almost 100 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Supercharging social media with storytelling techniques: #5 Show, don't tell

Show, don't tell, is one of the most important things a writer has to do, to build a story people will want to read.

Instead of saying the main character is a good man, we are urged to show him taking an old lady across the street, helping children, saving people's lives.

But how can you do that in social media?

The first way is through case studies, the classic business way to show the impact of what you do rather than simply say it. A case study will focus on a real life example of someone using your product or service.

The second way, if your social media is more personal, is for you to give examples of what is happening in your own life, describing how you tapped your fingers on the table as you waited to hear news of a big sale, rather than saying you were nervous.

The third way is to add depth to the showing by providing additional detail. If you won that big sale you might say you jumped higher than you ever had before the moment the news came in.

Showing, not telling, is a critical part of storytelling. If you are looking to build social media engagement it is one of the techniques you can use to supercharge your output.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Twitter & Gmail changes are on the way!

Does this look like a Facebook profile? It does to me, but no, this is a new Twitter profile featuring bigger profile pictures, customisable headers. We will also, by the end of this month, be able to pin Tweets, which are important to who we are, near the top of our profiles.

Popular Tweets will also appear bigger & we will be able to filter Tweets with pics & replies, indicating whether we want to see these or not.

Facebook is being challenged by Twitter. That's what it looks like to me.

Google, after the relative failure of Google+, is also changing. The Promotions tabs in our Gmail accounts will soon look like this:

This looks a bit like Pinterest. It certainly is a classier way to display promotion emails we receive. One thing it does mean though is that if you are sending promotion type emails, make sure you have a representative image included.

Featured image for the new grid must be at least 580px x 400px. The thumbnail logos are pulled from a brand’s verified Google+ page. This layout should be in place for us all by the Summer. No confirmed date has been given yet by Google.

If you want to stay up to date on the big changes in online marketing make sure you follow this blog by putting your email address in the box above right. You can unsubscribe any time.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Tipping Point Strategy

The music business gets social media. Lady GaGa had 49 million Facebook followers in 2013 and Rihanna 50 million. Rihanna is the second most popular music star on Facebook behind Eminem.

In the last few months of 2013 Rihana's label, Universal, used a tipping point strategy to leverage her followers in the run up to the launch of her new album and single.

Followers were encouraged to visit a new site, post content and like a new page and go on missions. Only when a certain number of likes had been achieved were rewards released. Rewards included song lyrics, a release date, cover image and videos This strategy has been used before, but it hit the jackpot this time. They achieved:

+ Over a 100,000 Tweets a day during launch month

+ 420 million Facebook wall posts

+ Triple platinum success for her single and a No 3 debut for her album.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

4 Key Arguments for Using Social Media - Updated

1.   To get noticed. It’s all right if you want to stay unknown, if you want to stick to the old ways, but if you want to get noticed these days social media is a great way to do it. Getting noticed is important for all types of people. In the past it was ok to hide away and not talk, you were forgiven. These days people expect it of you. Stand up, get noticed, be strong!

2.   It will allow you to connect with customers, partners, employees and all the other groups who you work or play with. Social media is a communications tool. It’s a some to many tool. The telephone was a one to one personal communications tool. TV and radio are about communications by a select few to many. Social media is a low cost communications tool where you can reach out to groups of varying sizes and send them all a message or just one.

3.   It’s a positive step to take. By taking action on social media you are sending a positive message. There are many groups who will appreciate this positive message. People under 29 are mostly on social media already so whether they are customers, employees or other partners they will be encouraged that you are getting engaged with social media.

4.   It’s good for your well being to be more open and communicative. In the old days, and for some sections of society this is still true, secrecy and cover up were the order of the day. I agree that many traditional things are good; family, culture and sport are just three, but we have found out, all over the world, that secrecy and cover up can be used by criminals who steal, corrupt political life or abuse children. Being open is symbolic, for me, of a rejection of all those people who did those evil things. 

Key arguments for using social media
My son, Martello Tower, Dublin, Ireland, near where I live

Friday, March 14, 2014

Supercharging social media with storytelling techniques: #2 Mass Empathy

Another tool for creating engagement and a sense of involvement in your posts is empathy - mass empathy.

Empathy is compassion or rapport. In storytelling terms it is the ability to place your readers in the shoes of your characters. So how do you do that in a social media post? Here are some things to consider:

1. Speak from the heart. Talk about the personal and human impact of what you do.

2. Use personal stories, names if you can.

3. Talk about the emotional and physical impact of what you do on others.

4. Explain how it impacts, don't simply name the feelings.

5. Explain the impact of clean water, how it feels on your tongue. Don't just say it's clean.

Empathy will be engendered when people can see themselves in the position of a user of your product or service. If you have described this in personal terms, with descriptions of the real impact of what you do, then you are more likely to engender empathy in your posts.

To buy my guide, Social Media is Dynamite, click here.

Monday, March 10, 2014

5 Ways to Create Lead-Generating Written Content

In any type of marketing, lead generation is basically defined as the practice of gauging interest in your business’s products or services. This is typically done through building lists via email, a subscriber base, fans/followers, or even phone numbers. 

When using social media sites like Facebook to generate leads, the only thing that really changes are the amount of tools and tactics available at your disposal.

However, through all the different apps and widgets to help you suck up emails like a giant tornado, it’s actually the tried and true practice of content writing that can help you the most. If you can construct compelling content, any promotion you run is going to be much more successful.

Let’s have a look at a few solid ways to create written content that will help you generate leads.

The Top 5 Tips for Creating Written Content that Generates Leads

1: Draw Attention to Your Topic
Let’s view this as the ultimate starting point: People see your content for the first time, with no idea whatsoever about who you are, what you do, etc. How do you go from first timer to graduating someone with one piece of written content? The answer: You don’t. The idea here is to draw attention to the topic, not to convert people. You’re never going to do the latter with a piece of content, but you can achieve the former.

Remember that this is the very top of the funnel, thus it’s much wider and more encompassing. What your aim should be here is to ultimately get people interested in what you’re offering them. You can accomplish drawing attention by:
  • Sticking specifically to the defined market; i.e. addressing a problem for people who are looking for a solution
  • Asking a unique, intriguing question
  • Using wordplay and alliteration to draw interest
  • Keeping things short and pithy – to the point with a bit of flare
  • Focusing on proper spelling and grammar
  • Avoiding run-on sentences, long words, unnecessary punctuation, and bold, all-caps print with numerous exclamation points (you’ve seen it before, and it’s a turn-off)
  • Remembering that the idea is to get people to simply look at the content for now, not to give you their credit card number
This is the initial step in a process for writing lead-generating content, so don’t sigh and walk away in frustration. The first step here is to ultimately figure out how to use your language to get people to read on. Take a look around at popular brands and promotions and read their teasers for a better idea.

2: Make it Brand-Specific
Now that Joe and Jane Average have stopped on your content and have started reading it, they need to know more. This is another area where less is going to be more, but it’s also an area where a knack for smooth writing is going to pay dividends. What you’re aiming for here is to introduce your brand to the public at large. Tell people who you are, what you’re about, and instill a sense of trust in people so that they’re comfortable following through with your eventual call to action.

A great tip to remember here is that your content introducing the lead-generating mechanism (a promotion, a poll, a quiz, etc) doesn’t have to be the final piece of content. In other words, a post that introduces or mentions the promotion can link to it; it doesn’t have to be constructed like one of those run-on-forever, excessively long weight-loss sales pages. The most important step here, however, is to put your brand out there.
  • Try using simple words like “we” and “our” to get the brand feeling across
  • Use your brand’s name
  • Make people feel comfortable when reading
  • Raise awareness for your business
  • Show consistency in your content and across different platforms
There’s no secret hiding under a random rock by an oak tree. Great writing is about keeping things clean, interesting, succinct, and intriguing readers. Putting your brand into it simply gives a face to the words. “Our cola is America’s favorite” doesn’t have the same ring as “Coca Cola is America’s favorite soft drink.” Branding.

3: Emphasize the Incentive
Now that readers are interested in what you have to say and know who’s saying it, it’s time to give them a reason to follow through with the action. More than likely, the post they’re reading is going to lead them to some sort of sign-up mechanism in order to get them into the funnel. This is where the actual leads come from. People need to give you their email addresses or some other form of contact. Your writing to this point hasn’t been to sell them on becoming a lead; it’s simply been to keep them around and to inform them about what you’re offering and who you are.

To get people to actually become leads, you’ll need to toss in some incentive. However, writing does play a crucial role here. Every business from Alaska to Zimbabwe is offering discounts and BOGOs and other incentives. It’s how you sell the incentive that makes a difference. As Jonah Hill might shout when losing a fight, “Use your words!”

Here’s how you can use your words to emphasize the incentive:
  • Put emphasis on how limited the offer is: Days, number of people, etc
  • Make any free gift shine by touting its positives
  • Show some enthusiasm in what you’re offering
  • Stick with one or two sentences
  • Cut out the fluffy adjectives
  • Emphasize the benefits to the customers, but don’t lie
4: Summarize and Share
Remember here that these tips are for your content in general, from status updates and quick posts to the actual text of the promotion page. So you’re looking to take some style tips to use for every piece of written content, not simply a single long post hoping to get leads. With that said, it’s now time to think about advertising your promotion. And in any piece of content that’s linking to the actual promotion, you want to keep things short, and you want to emphasize sharing.

Try a spin on these two examples to help you get the idea:
  • “Our new product, the XYZ3000, is satisfying customers from every corner of the globe. For a limited time, we’re offering a huge discount to the first 200 people to share this post.”
  • “Want to know more about how Business X can change your life? Click here and see.”
As you can see, these are very simple sentences but they still touch on all the key points discussed thus far. It’s content that has a brand feel, that emphasizes the incentive, that’s succinct and easy to read, that encourages sharing, and it makes it clear that the reader must follow through. So rather than having an incredibly long post that attempts to convert, these are just interest-grabbing quips that lead to the actual promotion (which may be an app or a landing page that you construct).

5: Hire a Helping Hand
Depending on the venue, your methods of advertising are going to differ. From Twitter, for example, you’ll want to employ the use of effective hashtags in order to find a broader audience. On a site like Facebook, however, you’ll really need more of a helping hand by way of paid advertising. This is where Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories come in handy.

Practically speaking, ten new customers are most likely more than enough to cover any type of investment you make. Imagine getting fifty new customers, half of those being repeat customers, and hundreds of other leads that may eventually become customers. Needless to say, investing is smart. What you want to invest in here is an ad-management app that will help you target the right demographics with your content. This also gives you a great opportunity to test different combinations of text on markets to see which ad is the most effective.

The best part about advertising on Facebook is that you’re not boxed in with conventional ads. You can advertise an entire post if you want, breathing new life into something that was already popular.
By sparking a reader’s curiosity, introducing your brand, emphasizing the incentive, and leading them to a distinct location with a clearly defined goal in mind, you can transform a wide range of readers into leads. 

Once they’re in the funnel, you’ll need other weapons to transform them into customers. But in terms of getting them in, some good content goes a long way.

Post written by: Simon Campbell, a writer from a facebook ad campaign tool – Qwaya. He loves to write different topics about social media and participates in some communities and forums. If you have more social media marketing questions, feel free to ask Simon on Twitter

Image Credit: sparkieblues

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Supercharging social media with storytelling techniques: #3 Tension

Creating tension, the need to read on, to find out what happens next, is a technique that social media posters can use to build engagement with their followers.

I'm not suggesting that each post should have a cliff hanger, but I am encouraging awareness of how storytelling techniques can be used in a corporate or other general social media environment. When you see news posts about what the iPhone 5 or iPad 6 may have when it comes out you are being teased by foreshadowing, a long established technique for building tension in stories.

Most people will not only look out for further posts in the story of what is to come from Apple, they are also more likely to become engaged with the sites that deliver those teasing posts.

Foreshadowing is only one technique for building tension. Dropping opposite types in the same room does it too. So does anticipation of an award or a disaster. So does a looming major change, a surprise announcement, a rescue story or a mystery. There are others too. Think about what engages you when you watch a movie.

You may only use one of these techniques because of your situation, but it is important to be aware that you can build engagement in many ways.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Zuckerberg's Law - 6 ways it could affect you

Mark Zuckerberg stated in 2008 that every two years or so (like Moore's Law for computing power) double the amount of information will be shared on social media as the year before.

Zuckerberg's Law

While that may seem impossible I'm not the only one to think that something like this will happen. But what will that mean for most businesses?

Here's the reality of how this could affect you in the next few years:

* SEO and old style websites are likely be less and less relevant. Social sharing will drive site visits and the social sites will become the place more time is spent on. Social is already more popular on the web than pornography.

* TV, radio and newspapers will also be less relevant, as people spend more and more time on these social sites.

* Advertisers will take up real estate on your social feeds. And they will get cleverer. Ads will become engagement snares.

* Out bound selling will transition into content creation for inbound prospect attraction sites.

* Organisations of all types will evolve to adopt social media in HR. induction, training, on the job help, staff management, customer servicing, social activities, product development, sales and alumni networks.

* Your social life from finding a partner to creating an event will become a truly social media supported activity.

Not everyone of us or every organisation will be affected in the same way. Some will resist. A digital-less underclass will find themselves cut off from society.

How will you cope? If you need advice on anything in this post email me now:
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Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Custom Online Marketing Plan for Your Business

Would you benefit from an expert online marketing plan, with a money back guarantee?

My guide to social media was published in 2013. Buyers raved about it and it rose to a top position in the digital marketing charts.

"This seems to be the best or only one of its kind." one reviewer said. You can buy it here.

I also teach a Diploma Course at City Colleges in Dublin, which is available online here. I teach online marketing in other places too.

I advise small and large companies how to improve their online marketing. But instead of you having to pay for a book or a course, why not have an online marketing plan created just for you?

The plan will have seven elements:

1. Objectives. What are your objectives?

2. Who. Who will create the plan & who will carry it out?

3. Resources. What resources do you have available to allocate to the plan?

4. Integration. How will you integrate social media with other support, marketing or communication strategies & tactics in your organisation?

5. Governance. What rules or guidance will you put in place?

6. Content. How will content be generated?

7. Monitoring. How will you monitor and manage the results?

The plan will be created based on a questionnaire and personal telephone/Skype interview. The goal of the plan will be to help your business succeed.

I spent twenty five years in sales before becoming an online marketing consultant. I was a sales director of an international software company and achieved numerous inhouse awards for selling. If you want a plan that will help you succeed email me now:

I provide a 90 day money back guarantee too. If you are not happy with your plan within 90 days you can have your money back in full. I am a registered business in Ireland and I stand behind this guarantee. Your payment will be held in an online account and not be touched until 90 days has passed.

It is critical that you don't let this online marketing opportunity pass. Don't make that mistake.

What will it cost to get get an alternative view on what you could be doing from an expert?

Don't delay. Email now That's Your Advanced Social Media Services.

One client had this to say about my service: 

"Faced with a bewildering number of choices: blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., it can be difficult to put together an effective marketing campaign. Laurence provided the expert guidance and support I needed to make the right choices and just the right level of pressure to keep me focussed."
JJ Toner

Another had this to say:
"Although I'd engaged with Twitter and flirted with Facebook, this has focussed my efforts on the things that are really effective. It's an ongoing process, there's plenty of scope for improvement on my part, but blog visits have risen sharply from a few a day to 50-100. The improvements suggested to my blog and website are being implemented and are increasing sales."DJ Harrison

Thanks for your time.

Laurence O'Bryan
Advanced Social Media Services
5 Dame Lane
Dublin 2

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Newsjacking & Social Media Updated

What is newsjacking?

Hi-Jacking Hotspot Sign: Close-up of a highway road sign reading HI-JACKING HOTSPOT located near Witbank, South Africa. A little roughly captured, but I didn't exactly want to stick around too long for reasons apparent on the sign.

Newsjacking is inserting yourself or your organisation into a story that is being covered in the media. You do this by commenting prominently on the story online or by providing a link to a relevant post on your blog or web site.

Examples of this include a marketing expert suggesting a marketing plan for Occupy Wall Street, a software company president talking about a major industry takeover and inserting his own company into subsequent media stories because of the relevance of his comments and the London Fire Brigade offering Kate Winslett training after she was involved in a fire on Richard Branson's private retreat in the British Virgin Islands.

The purpose of newsjacking is to get people to click on your link, to get traffic to your site and gain visibility.

And it works.

The rules of newsjacking are that you have to insert yourself quickly into the story, coming late means the story had played out, that you have to have something relevant to say, and that you post or web site supports what you say.

The PR industry is changing. No longer is it good enough to simply push out press releases to friendly journalists and hope they will cover your story. Now you have to find a real link between something happening in the media or in the world and whatever you are promoting.

Social media is the glue that binds all this together. It's where you contact journalists covering the story and refer them to your blog post and where you inform people that you have a post and a real connection to the media article.

My highest spike in blog viewers came when I made a relevant post on the UK Guardian book page and on the New York Times in one day. That day I got over 500 views. My comment was one of the first on that page, I had something relevant to say and the comment had a link in it to my blog.

Old fashioned PR isn't entirely dead, but it's changing fast.

To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Supercharging social media with storytelling techniques: #1 Conflict

Since time immemorial we have gathered by the camp fire to listen to tales of monsters, fair maidens and battles long ago.

An interest in such stories seems hard wired into our genes.

The challenge for social media strategists is how to use such genetic hard wiring to increase the audience for any given post and build its emotional resonance. I will use post to describe anything from a short Tweet to a longer blog post.

One of the first things to consider is conflict. Conflict doesn't simply mean having a bad guy and a good guy, an antagonist and a protagonist, it's also about taking on the "machine".

If you can frame your brand, your organisation or your output as a struggle between good and evil, then you can build the emotional involvement that will inspire people to retweet, mention or pass on your post.

You will have reframed your post using one of the oldest story-telling techniques.

To support this site - over 100 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or The Manhattan Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The 7 Pillars of Social Media Audit

If you are in a medium or large organisation it is likely that some divisions or individuals in the organisation are already engaging on social media. 

In order to integrate, coordinate and effectively manage social media the first step you will need to undertake is an audit of the current use of social media in every part of your organisation.

Below are the principles of a "7 pillars of social media" audit, which you will need to report on to senior management to ensure that you have a good understanding of where you are now in social media, and to allow you to develop a social media plan.

The key process in a 7 pillars audit is a staff questionnaire and interview process to establish:

1. All current SM identities and stats (followers/posts per day/engagement/content plan etc).

2. All planned and possible SM opportunities.

3. Existing or planned governance document.

4. SM engagement analysis by seniority/position (who/what/when).

5. SM monitoring (sentiment/mentions) current & planned.

6. Software Tools in use and planned.

7. "Best competitor" analysis of optimal SM usage. 

A 7 pillars social media audit can be undertaken every six months to allow you to update your social media plan on a rolling basis to include changes in all aspects of the 7 pillars. If you want further detail on each pillar and assistance on carrying out an effective social media audit please contact the author on

To support this site - over 100 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!