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A free social media strategy for your business

20 Dec

Building a social media programme is easier than it sounds

I was talking casually to a business owner the other day about what he could get out of social media.

It occurred to me afterwards that the advice I gave him is relevant to you too whether you are small, medium or humungous; whether you sell shark tanks, speech therapy or bleach.

So here’s the beginnings of a plan for your business – base your programme or strategy on this and contact me on Twitter or in the comments if I can be of further help. If this is useful, all I ask in return is that you ‘retweet’ the post or share it in your preferred way. Continue reading

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People don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it.

9 Nov

I’m sorry – I should have told you about this ages ago.

Because it has the power to change entirely the way you want the world to see you.

If you run a business – in fact if you’re selling anything; a political message, poetry, a marriage proposal or your gardening skills – I implore you to set aside 18 minutes of your life to look at this talk by Simon Sinek, the slightly awkward but brilliant author of Start With Why.

These 18 magical, powerful, inspiring minutes get right to the nub of why some of us succeed in our communications and some of us fail.

Leaders, Sinek says, don’t start by telling you what they are doing, or how they are doing it. No, whether they are Martin Luther-King, Apple’s Steve Jobs or the Wright Brothers, they begin by telling you why they are doing it.

What does this mean for brands and how they position themselves in the marketplace?

It means this:

You should be communicating about what you are, not what you sell.

Or as Sinek so eloquently puts it:

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

Using Twitter ‘favourites’ as a testimonials page

9 Oct

Michael Taggart in the bath this morning

A Eureka moment came to me this morning as I was fiddling around with my Twitter ‘favourites’ in perplexed bafflement – wondering why on Earth anyone would ever want to ‘favourite’ any tweets.

“Of course! Businesses can use Twitter favourites as a testimonials page,” I exclaimed, simultaneously applauding and reaching round to pat myself on the back.

Except, a few minutes into marveling at the simplistic beauty of my discovery, Google told me that businesses were already doing it the world over. That pesky Google!

Ah well, there goes the Nobel Prize for Social Media. But it’s clearly an idea people like so I’ll share it anyway:

What I’m saying is that businesses and brands should look through their mentions on Twitter and ‘favourite’ the ones that speak highly of them, recommend them or praise them. Why? Because you can link to your ‘favourites’ page from, say, your website and replace your old-style testimonials page with the new Twitter link, calling it “What They Say” or “Testimonials” or something similar. Continue reading

How a little boy’s tears made Boeing human

28 Aug

Harry Winsor's Boeing design

Eight-year old Harry Winsor is a little boy who loves planes.

So when he set about designing Boeing’s next passenger jet, crayon in hand, he dreamed of seeing his machine soaring through the clouds.

What he didn’t expect was the curmudgeonly response when he mailed the firm his sketch: a standardised rejection letter penned in legalese, which informed him: “…we have disposed of your message and retained no copies.”

Way to go Boeing. Way to make an eight-year-old cry. Way to become the subject of a force 10 social media shit storm. Continue reading

John Prescott, a waggish philanthropist or a chippy tub of lard?

22 Aug

Maligned or malignant? Lord Prescott

There are two curious and distinct images of Lord (John) Prescott, our former deputy Prime Minster.

First, the waggish but self-effacing campaigner, sports fan, proud husband, digital champion and philanthropist.

And then there’s this:

“…a chimp, a pustulating boil of resentment and class hatred, a chippy, thin-skinned puffed up laughing stock, an ocean-going tub of lard, groaning with arrogance, ego, hypocrisy, and inferiority, he’s an inadequate, inarticulate embarrassment, a disgrace to Britain at home and abroad.”

The latter comes courtesy of that moderate sophist, that unimpeachable speaker of truth and only the truth, the Daily Mail’s Richard Littlejohn. The former is, well, Prescott’s view – or at least the impression you get of him from his tweets.

So it’s easy to see why Prezza is cynical about the traditional media and why he described Twitter in yesterday’s Guardian as his ‘revelation’. For Prescott, the social web shows “the real me, not the distorted view peddled by the media”.

Prescott is not alone in the believing that truth is the winner now that the media is in the hands of the people, now that our ideas have a potential audience of most of the world, now that our utterances do not have to be mediated by the evil press and broadcast barons and their sadistic servants. Continue reading

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