In front of the camera at City AM

carla bradman city am

Last week I was invited to discuss how businesses can use social media for a video City AM are producing. After years of being behind the camera I’ve managed to find myself in front of it twice in two months!

I love talking about how small businesses can use social media effectively, so to be able to do that in the company of others just as passionate about digital marketing as I am was really quite something.

I’ll share the video here once it’s live, but in the meantime you might be interested in my six Pinterest tips for small business success.

 

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Time-saving tools for small businesses

time saving tools

As the sole marketer in a small business, time-saving tools are my friend.

I’m in the Guardian today discussing why Buffer is my favourite.

Buffer is a social media management app that allows you to schedule posts across different platforms. If you share responsibility for social media management among your small business team you can add other team members to one account. Its analytics feature shows you how well each of your posts has performed (in terms of reach, retweets, likes) so you can tweak the tone, content and timings of your posts accordingly. The tool is free to use if you are scheduling posts on four platforms or fewer, but is around £70 a year for integrating more social media accounts (up to 10) and more posts (more than 100).

Guardian

Take a read here.

Podcasts, Google and how much your time is worth

reading

It’s been a while since I last shared a selection of interesting articles I’ve read, so hopefully this bunch proves that curation should always be about quality over quantity!

The Value of Time: How Much is Your Time Really Worth?
James Clear

Understanding the value of our time- and how to calculate it accurately to make informed decisions about time going forward.

Read more

The podcasting scene will explode
Rex Sorgatz, Nieman Lab

“Media companies will continue adapting their franchises to podcasts, agencies will empower brands to create new shows, podcasting networks will devise new aural experiments, and even more independents will pop up from unexpected places.”

Read more

2016 Google Tracker: Everything Google is working on for the new year
Ron Amadeo, arstechnica

A look at every ongoing project (that is known) happening inside Google.

Read more

If you answer emails after work, you should be getting unlimited vacation
Travis Bradberry, Quartz

An interesting look at the pros of unlimited vacation – and the lengths companies go to in order to get employees to take paid leave.

Read more

(You might also like to read a few social media predictions for 2016)

Social media trends and predictions 2016

social media trends 2016

Happy New Year!

I recently asked a few social media experts from a range of backgrounds what their top social media trends from 2015 were – and what their social media predictions for 2016 are.

Meet the experts

Brid O’Connell is the Social Media Manager at Zoopla, one of the UK’s most popular property portals.

Julian Miller is Charity Lead at Hootsuite, a social media management system.

Kirsty Marrins is a freelance digital communications consultant and trainer.

Social media trends in 2015

Live streaming

“A big trend in 2015 was live streaming, with apps such as Periscope, Meerkat and Blab all launching in 2015. Periscope was named iPhone App of the Year by Apple and I think that is the one that will stand the test of time and really explode in 2016.”

Brid O’Connell

Native video

“2015 was all about native video as Facebook took on YouTube. Twitter soon followed and the result is a seamless experience for users and an easier way for marketeers to keep their content on one platform.”

Kirsty Marrins

Mobile

“We all have one and we all want websites to be mobile optimised. Mobile is more effective than any other channel as it enables brands to create and take advantage of their existing customers. So now, digital marketers can connect social engagement to purchasing actions – especially as many social networks are integrating buy buttons on their mobile ads.”

Julian Miller

Emojis

“Emojis were another hot trend with Oxford Dictionaries announcing the emoji ( ‘Face with Tears of Joy’) as its word of 2015. WWF ran a hugely successful #EndangeredEmoji campaign and Instagram launched an Emoji search function.”

Kirsty Marrins

Social media predictions for 2016

Customer experience

“There is massive potential to engage audiences of all industries with Periscope – fashion brands taking you backstage, tech companies doing product demos, property companies bringing you virtual tours, celebrities hosting Q&A sessions and the list goes on. For 2016 it will be interesting to see if companies bring this into their customer service offering for a next level customer care experience.”

Brid O’Connell

Instant messaging

“More businesses will tap into apps like WhatsApp and Kik. This phase is in limbo at the moment but I suspect progress towards the end of the year.”

Julian Miller

Content

“I predict that brands will invest more in social listening and create content based on what people are talking about/interested in or even what they’re saying about them. I also predict that content will become more personalised, in the form of videos or photos.”

Kirsty Marrins

Utilising staff

“More businesses will enable staff to integrate social networks into their jobs, using employees to raise awareness of products and services. Additionally I expect more sales professionals to utilise LinkedIn and Twitter to help them achieve their goals.”

Julian Miller

What are your social media predictions for 2016?

Thunderclap

wrap up london 2015

I’ve just launched a Thunderclap campaign for the first time to raise awareness of our annual coat collection for Wrap Up London.

Thunderclap describe themselves as the first ‘crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together’. Everyone from large corporations to small charities and passionate individuals can use the service to create a wave of attention for their message.

The basic package is free and requires you to reach a supporter goal (minimum of 100 people). Once that goal has been met your message is shared through your supporters networks at a specified date and time. A digital flash mob if you like.

This is our fourth Wrap Up London campaign so it will be interesting to compare our Thunderclap reach alongside the social media reach we’ve achieved in previous years.

Help spread the word (and skew my results!) in five seconds when you join our Wrap Up London campaign.

Hearts trump stars on Twitter

hearts

Twitter has made numerous small changes to their platform over the last couple of months, including removing the 140 character limit from direct messages and introducing a new poll feature.

The latest change is swapping a star icon for favourites to a heart one for likes. Personally I’ve been using the favourite star icon to ‘like’ a tweet for a long time. I haven’t ‘saved’ a tweet by favouriting it in years (I tend to use other services like Evernote to do that) and used to click the star in the same way I click ‘like’ on Facebook.

What are your thoughts on this latest change?

How businesses can use Twitter’s new poll feature

Over the next few days you’ll be able to start creating polls on Twitter. You’ll be able to create two-choice polls that will be live for 24 hours.

Here’s a short video explaining how they’ll work:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Todd Sherman, a Product Manager at Twitter, suggested a few of the benefits for businesses in his blog post about Twitter Polls. He said:

“If you want the public’s opinion on anything — what to name your dog, who will win tonight’s game, which election issue people care most about — there’s no better place to get answers than on Twitter. For poll creators, it’s a new way to engage with Twitter’s massive audience and understand exactly what people think. For those participating, it’s a very easy way to make your voice heard.”

Polls will enable further engagement between brands and their community if used correctly. Community managers need to think carefully about what questions and responses will add value to their audience in order to reap the benefits of the new feature.