Social Media and Beyond

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How does your business card shape up?

business cardNo self respecting business owner would be without a business card would they?  No of course they wouldn’t.  They are your shop window to all your services and products, provide your phone number, website address and other relevant information.   

However, one of the things that always seem to be missing are your social media channels. The whole world and his dog are on social media nowadays, (yes dogs do have twitter accounts), so why wouldn’t you tell people you are too?

Is it enough to just have the symbol on the card? Yes if your twitter handle is the same as your business name, if not put the name of your account on.  Don’t leave it to chance that they may visit your website and find out from there.  Chances are they probably wont. Continue reading

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On my travels around various networking groups I come across a lot of companies who now say they do social media. Virtual Assistants and Web Developers come to mind, although there are other types of companies too.

When I ask them how many clients they are managing social media for they say, oh about ten or so.  Can you guess what my next question is? No, well I will tell you.  “So how do you manage ten social media platforms in one day”- Answer – by scheduling.   Virtual Assistant Continue reading


It’s not just a numbers game

Do you get excited every time you get a new follower or like? Are you monitoring the increase in likes on your FB page? It gets a bit addictive doesn’t it?

But, there’s always one of those isn’t there? Are you checking your notifications as this is what really counts? How much interaction are you getting? Are you talking to people and are they responding?

Without interaction and engagement what have you got? I’ll tell you, you have an advertising board and nothing more Continue reading

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Excuse me which platform do I need?

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and now Ello, so many platforms, but which one do you choose?  

The first question you need to ask yourself is “who are my target audience?”  Answer that and you are halfway there.

Social Media platforms

95% of us should be on Linkedin, this is our business suit, the place we share our qualifications and experience, a chance to add our opinions on burning business discussions and share articles relevant to our industry.

Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are great if your business is visual, so probably not the place for accountants, solicitors or health and safety professionals.  

Only set up a social media platform if you are going to use it.  Nothing looks worse than an unloved Facebook page or a Twitter account when the last tweet was sent three weeks ago.  In the format of the Channel 4 property programme, Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!   

If this all sounds a bit of a drag there are many social media professionals out there waiting for your business (me included).  They can set up a strategy that is right for you using the correct platforms and either do it for you or teach you how to do it yourself.  

Word of warning:  talk to several different companies and find the person who you like and feel you could work with and don’t necessarily go with price.  Price varies widely, from bargain basement to gold standard and does not guarantee good or bad service. Check they have some experience of your industry, if they don’t, then don’t use them.

Either way you do have to ask yourself if you can afford NOT to be doing it.  

Take a look at these stats and decide for yourself

Twitter has 271 million active users, 30% 18 to 29, 18% 30 to 49 and 12% over 50

Google + 540 million users, average age 28 and 67% male

Instagram 200 million, 67% aged 18 to 34

Facebook 1.3 billion users of which 41.4% are 35 to 54

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Tools R Us! Er, actually no, they R not us.


I spend a lot of time on the internet, as you can imagine, it is a must for my profession.  Because of this I tend to see a lot of things advertised to make your social media life easier.  “Use this or that tool”;  “ ten tips to easier social media marketing”;  “how to easily create content using XYZ”.  Why does this bother me?  Let me explain.

In my opinion we should be using our own brains to think up our content, why do we need a tool to create it for us.  We are constantly being told that “Content is King” which I truly believe in, so why then are we using things like Post Planner and other tools to create the content for us.  Continue reading

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How Social Media has changed the Game in Education

This week our guest blogger is Katie Ashford.  Katie graduated from the University of Warwick. She has since worked as an English teacher and leader of SEN intervention in the West Midlands. She is a Teach First Ambassador* and her vision for education is that all children, regardless of ability or background, should be able to enjoy and have their lives enriched by the written and spoken word.  Her passion for literature stems from her own reading as a child, which encouraged her to join the teaching profession. Katie has spoken at national research and education conferences and has lectured PGCE students at the University of Birmingham. She has written for various websites and the Times Education Supplement, and has co-authored two books about teaching. Katie is relocating to London to join the Michaela team, and is excited to work at what will become a leading school in the UK.


Modern teaching


I remember my first day like it was yesterday. The shrill ring of the school bell rattled Continue reading

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How secure are your Social Media Accounts?

This week we have a guest blogger – Matthew Trump from Matthew works as the IT Security Officer at the University of Kent and shares his passion for IT Security with a passion for presentations.  Here are his hints and tips on how to keep your social media accounts secure.

Password Safety

Keep your passwords safe

With increasing numbers of accounts being compromised and passwords being revealed, how secure are your social media accounts?

It’s well known that people reuse passwords across different websites and across their social media accounts as well.  If you are guilty of this then think of the consequences: the loss of your username (often an email address) and password from one account may well allow hackers access to all of your social media accounts. This could cost you, not just financially, but also reputationally.

In addition there is now a wealth of evidence from hacked passwords that the actual passwords which people use are simply not secure ( and are frequently easily guessable (

So what can be done to address this problem?  The easiest way is to use a password management program. There are a number available and some of them are free.

Programs such as keepass (, lastpass( and password safe ( are all free.  1pass( another such product which costs $49.99 for a single user licence and $69.99 for a five user family licence.

They create an encrypted password file which itself contains all of your passwords. They also generate passwords for you, so you can be sure that each one is totally random and hence unique.  So if one password is compromised, the rest of your accounts are safe.

Many of these programs are cross platform so you can store your password file in Dropbox or other cloud storage and access it from whatever device you have to hand.

You can always experiment with the free products to see which one you like the most and the paid for products come with a time limited trial.


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All of a sudden hashtags are everywhere, no longer confined to Twitter they can be found on Facebook, television, magazines and now they are creeping into our language.

However when is it appropriate to use them and when is it just plain silly?

In my opinion there is a time and a place, they are great if you want to interact with a programme on TV, for example #BGT (that’s Britain’s Got Talent for the uninitiated) here you can interact with people who are watching the programme and exchange comments and thoughts about the show.   They are useful for business to help locate a certain product or service.  Even better if you are looking for something in a particular area and the town can be hash tagged.

BUT, and here comes my gripe, do not use them on every word. Firstly it makes your tweet hard to read, secondly I really doubt many people would read it, and thirdly, WHY?

Ok I know there is not a hashtag dictionary (Mmmmm now there’s an idea) but I would ask you to think carefully before using this little innocuous symbol.  We do not need to see it in a text or an email.  It is not necessary to use it in speech (as in the title of this blog), or to use it on words of absolutely no relevance, for example, “and, thanks, hello”, you get my drift?

Running a sentence together with a hashtag at the beginning is a no no too, again too difficult to read and, let’s face it, it’s never hoping to trend!

Let’s keep it for the purpose it was intended, Twitter.   So let’s just find two key words in our tweet to hashtag and I can assure you that it will have more impact and gain you more interaction and engagement.

#right #must #get #on #Ihaveabusinesstorun



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It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it: that’s what gets………….

RESULTS! The thing that everybody wants, yes? Well I know I do. But the question is: how do we get them?

If I had a pound – actually let’s make that a fiver (inflation)- for every time someone asked me “How often should I be doing social media?” I would have enough money to go on a cruise! My answer?


You know what I mean: you see some new kid on the block and they start posting loads of stuff on their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. and you think, “Hey I like this. I’m going to keep an eye on this product/service.” This is great, but after a few weeks… silence and no more postings! Maybe they have gone on a cruise! Okay, we give them some grace, but the weeks roll by and there’s still nothing. By this time you are bored and have probably switched off.

It is important to maintain your presence, to post to Facebook a couple of times a day, and to chat to people on Twitter, (even if it’s just about the weather) so that people know you are still around.

“Ah yes!” they say, “That all sounds great, but I don’t have the time! Why do I want to sit around on Facebook all day or be Tweeting until the cows come home?”

But there is a way! Sit down at the beginning of the month and schedule all your important stuff, things you want to promote, services you want to offer, (no more than a couple of times a week, though).

Then every morning (or maybe coffee time), spend half an hour going through all your various platforms and engage with people, liking, commenting, sharing- you know the kind of thing.

Then here is the best bit: most people have a phone (if you don’t then why not?). Download the apps for all your platforms and you can flick in and out when you have a spare minute. Realistically, how long does it take to respond to a tweet? 30 seconds? If you can do it quicker please let me know!

So you see- by just doing these little things you can still keep yourself in the limelight, and stop yourself from disappearing into the shadows.

We all have little pockets of time throughout the day when we can squeeze something else in, so instead of checking your personal Facebook page, (which, let’s face it, is not promoting your business), look at your business page, and before you know it, your audience will be growing! The same applies to your other platforms: little and often is key.

So where are your down times in the day? Coffee break, lunch break, five minutes before you shut your business down? Five minutes is all it takes. So my question is this: are you sure you still don’t have time for social media?

Consistency is what gets results.

Consistency is what gets results.