As part of Status Social’s recruiting process we ask all applicants to write a blog about social media. Christabel Bancroft recently joined the team as a social media manager. Here’s what she wrote about why more businesses should consider image-based social media platforms….
It’s Monday morning and people are starting back at work but lacking inspiration. Where do you find that inspiration? Recently it has all been on social media websites such as Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.
Nowadays it is more and more common for companies to be using these platforms to engage with their audiences and to create more of a buzz about their work. But why aren’t all companies using them? Maybe because they think they wouldn’t have anything to post? Any form of community can be built on these websites.
Take Tumblr for example. What once was a small, close knit group of people who were interested in various cultural shows is now a website full of companies and celebrities.
Clothing brand Topshop, supermodels, political parties, heck even Beyonce is on Tumblr – and why? It always promotes their brand, their image. These people and groups can engage with their followers immediately by sharing posts or answering questions.
So how does this relate to real-world companies and not just someone who is famous? It’s simple. People who share what they are doing through images seem more approachable and fun. People relate better to images.
Everyone whilst scrolling through their Instagram feed wants to see people enjoying themselves at work (it’s almost a jealousy thing). If you want to promote your company, and you are design or media-based, then sites such as these are perfect for it.
Arts and media companies can do wonders on Pinterest, sharing ideas and hobbies for all to see. Instagram and Tumblr are particularly popular with younger crowds so it’s easy to see why companies with a younger target audience should be making the most of them.
Take the Facebook page, and now book, Humans of New York (HONY). What started off as a small webpage showcasing various people in New York and their life stories has now exploded into a business but it still holds onto that personal touch.
Every day photographs are posted and thousands of people comment on them. They are always supportive and positive despite the nature of the story and this works for HONY, they have found their target audience.
Companies need to put themselves out there onto these platforms as there are whole worlds of people waiting to read about them.
You may also be interested in reading Too boring for social media?
Find out more about our social media content creation workshops or call us on Derby (01332) 776910 or Nottingham (0115) 8248242.Read More
East Midlands Trains was the subject of 56,000 tweets last year, a rise of 85% from the previous year. For those working in the social media team, it was confirmation they had made the right decision to be the UK’s first rail company to go 24/7 on Twitter and Facebook.
In an exclusive interview with Status Social, Gemma, East Midlands Trains’ customer information manager, explained the rationale behind the decision and what they had learned along the way.
“We decided it needed to be 24/7 because that allows us to engage with our customers regardless of whether our trains are running or not”, said Gemma.
“A lot of our customers travel early in the morning and they might want to ask you a quick question about a ticket or they want to ask how the train service looks for the morning. We thought we needed to be there to offer them that service.”
Since that decision, the share of customer contact on Twitter has increased from 18% to 27%. Meanwhile, calls have decreased by 4% and now account for just 38% of customer contact.
The number of mentions on Twitter has grown from 30,000 to 56,000 over the same period. East Midlands Trains has five people in their social media team. They also deal with customer service phone calls after hours.
“You’d be surprised how many customers do contact us and say they’ve woken up panicking they’ve not done this… or not sure they can get this ticket,” said Gemma. “It really is great that we can give them that reassurance and we can go home knowing we’ve saved someone from worrying all night.”
East Midlands Trains has different strategies when it comes to its two main social media platforms. While Facebook is used for marketing, Twitter is more about delivering passenger information during disruption.
They tweet disruption updates every 18 minutes on average, beating their target of every 40 minutes. “We’ve learned a lot about reporting disruption on Twitter. In the early days we would tweet about an incident but not tweet again if nothing changed,” said Gemma. “That would lead to customers asking for updates. We also weren’t so good at letting people know the situation had returned to normal. Now we understand their needs much better.”
The East Midlands Trains team monitors Klout as part of its customer service. Klout is a website that ranks people according to online social influence via the ‘Klout Score’ – a number between one and 100. The East Midlands Trains’ social media team check out the Klout scores of anyone who engages with them.
“I think it’s really important to do that,” said Gemma. “Potentially somebody with a Klout score of higher than 30 or 40 has an ample amount of followers and it’s that old adage that if someone has a bad experience they’ll tell ten people. The customers with a high Klout score are no more important than anyone else but if you respond to them well there’s a good opportunity to grow your follower base and deliver a good message back.”
East Midlands Trains is still learning what works best when it comes to social media. Two annual customer surveys help provide vital information and East Midlands Trains’ social media activities have been noticed outside their network; other train operators have visited the team at Derby to share best practice. East Midlands Trains continues to work closely with peers to ensure they lead the way when it comes to social media customer service.
Want to know how we can help you with your social media customer service then call us on Derby (01332) 776910 or Nottingham (0115) 8248242.Read More
Periscope. The social media app of the moment is being downloaded onto phones and tablets across the globe. Owned by Twitter, but not requiring its parent app to register, Periscope allows users to watch and broadcast live from their phone.
By guest blogger Michael Wood
One million people downloaded Periscope in its first ten days. It may be some way off the 19% of iOS users who’ve downloaded the Twitter app, but since fighting off competition from its rival Meerkat, Periscope can only get more and more popular.
In a rehearsed, edited and polished world, live broadcasts present marketers with a new challenge… spontaneity. Live broadcast media have been managing it for decades, but marketing departments and agencies have been able to rest on the luxury of prepared content – controlled and managed to a fine degree of quality.
As businesses clamour to find innovative ways of creating content for the app, I examine the opportunity that Periscope provides to gyms in the leisure and fitness industry.
Generally, individual gym branches run their own social media accounts. If you’ve ever followed your local gym on Facebook you know what I mean: “JOIN TODAY… GENERIC APPEALING OFFER ENDS TONIGHT!”. Add in a few ‘typos’, spelling mistakes, a few hundred exclamation marks and an 11 month gap between the next post and you’ve got the picture – or lack of it!
Periscope could be used to broadcast classes, allowing members to work out from the comfort of their home whilst still benefitting from the expertise of a professional trainer. This would open the virtual door to new clients; perhaps parents with children that can’t get child care, business people working away from home, and most importantly everyone around the world who just doesn’t want to go to the gym on a cold, wet, December evening.
If you’re anxious about going to the gym, Periscope is the answer. If you’re body-conscious, Periscope is the answer. If you don’t want anyone to witness your first push up, Periscope is the answer. And, if you’re scared of falling off the treadmill in a packed gym – and don’t fancy trying this…
…then Periscope can at least save your blushes from the privacy of your own home. (PS: If you’ve not seen that video already – then you really should have!)
Periscope provides an opportunity for gyms to gain clients that it wouldn’t normally appeal to. Gyms could even consider monetising its content with a paywall. As the numbers of social users increase, businesses need to find a way of making Periscope work for them. There are issues with copyright that will be sorted in time, but joining and strategising now will stop businesses from being left behind.Read More
Professional cyclists need to accept they’re going to get abuse on social media, according to the general manager of Team Sky, Sir Dave Brailsford.
In an exclusive interview with Status Social, Sir Dave says cyclists need to adapt to criticism over networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
He also reckons cyclists should avoid using social media immediately after a race but says Team Sky do not have a social media policy.
Read the full interview with Sir Dave, recorded at the UK’s newest velodrome, Derby Arena:
Status Social: Sometimes cyclists and other sports people get very affected by what’s posted on social media, especially Twitter. How should they handle that?
Sir Dave Brailsford: Well it’s like everything in life, you adapt to it. The whole point of society is that people have different views and that is the way it is. I think you have got to embrace that.
It is the diversity of thinking and the diversity of opinion that makes it an exciting place to live. Therefore you have to take the good with the bad. You don’t let it get to you too much, you don’t take too much notice of it and you just move on.
Status Social: Do you encourage the riders to use social media at Team Sky? Is there a policy?
Sir Dave Brailsford: No, we don’t have a policy as such – it’s pretty obvious some of the dos and don’ts, it goes without saying. But I think it is important that people have their own voice and they can air their own views.
Social media is a good thing; it is a healthy thing. As long as social media isn’t misused and sometimes straight after a race when everybody’s all fired up, it probably isn’t the best time to be tweeting. But as long as everyone is sensible, I think it is a great medium and it is to be embraced.
Status Social: You’ve been involved in cycling for a long time. What kind of an impact do you think social media has had on cycling?
Sir Dave Brailsford: The impact of social media has been massive on cycling and within society. We are all adapting and learning all the time. One of the greatest benefits is that it has allowed cycling and all sports to have a dialogue with fans directly. It has changed the way we think about communication.
Instead of having one-way communication, now we can have the opportunity of having a dialogue which I think is very, very important. I think we are all trying to learn very, very quickly and move and adapt to see how we can all benefit the most to use social media and get the greatest things out of social media, like fan engagement, particularly for teens but also from an educational point of view, to promote the opportunities that exists.
From a cycling point-of-view, here at Derby Arena we are using social media so we can tap into young people to let them know about opportunities that exist here. How can they go about getting down here? What do they do when they get here? All those things to make it easy. I think that is how we use social media these days, to benefit everybody in the community.Read More
Blurred LinkedIn background images, dodgy-looking Twitter headers, unforgivable Facebook cover photos – we’ve all seen them but as a business owners/marketeers it’s vital we look good on social media.
And with the social networks regularly changing their photo sizes, it’s so difficult to keep on top of the latest dimensions. So it’s great, therefore, when somebody does the job for you.
Stand up Daniella Franco from SumAll and take a bow. Daniella has created a beautiful infographic which gives us (almost) everything we need to know. So there’s little more to say than, enjoy….
Leadership coach Peter Anderton took part in Status Social’s Blogging for Business workshop. His ‘homework’ was to blog about his experience….
Status Social’s Mark Saxby is passionate about social media. I am passionate about leadership. Couldn’t be more different? Wrong.
His ‘Blogging for Business’ workshop was an eye opener. I didn’t know the first thing about blogging and even now my ‘L plates’ are still firmly attached. But so many of his messages I already knew – what I didn’t know was what they had to do with blogging. I thought they were about leadership. Here are just three:
Write as you would speak. Share your emotions. Like right now I’m thinking – why would anyone read my blog? I’m not a journalist. I’m not a Harvard professor. I’m just some bloke who knows how to help knackered leaders get their mojo back! But I do know that if any leader is ever going to step out of the management zone and into the leadership zone the first step is to be real. A leader who is willing to be a little vulnerable goes a long way. You don’t have to have all the answers. In fact if you do how will your team ever develop?
Know your reason
Why are you blogging? Is it website traffic you want? Brand awareness? Are you after clients? Do you simply want to share your musings with the world? I had no reason – I just thought it was something I should do. Now I have worked out my reason. No more ‘I must write a book someday’ – this blog is where it starts.
So how about your team – do they have a reason why? Because if they don’t, you will only see a shadow of what they could deliver. In the words of Simon Sinek – Start with WHY.
Look for the sweet spot. Write about things you are passionate about. Write about things that your target audience are passionate about. It’s not one or the other it HAS to be both. Truly great leaders work in the sweet spot between things they love doing and the things that need to be done. If you can’t find the sweet spot then look harder – or go and do something else! You won’t reach your full potential without it.
As for your team – align their passions with the work to be done and watch them catch fire. You will double your results – and double engagement. Free of charge.
So was it worth it, when I knew it already? Absolutely – because despite my fears, Mark has unlocked what I already know and pointed it in the right direction. If that isn’t leadership, what is?