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Croydon Tech City, Just Croydon and our Tweetup

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On Thursday, Wendy attended the Croydon Tech City season finale meeting at Matthews Yard, Croydon.  This is a movement founded by Jonny Rose, now joined by Sarah Luxford and Nigel Dias, promoting the growth of tech companies and start-ups to come and work in and/or from Croydon.

There are great, free, monthly meetings (though there’s not one in August, hence it being the season finale this month!) with presentations from players large and small involved in tech, tech start-ups or with views or influence over them.  Since the inception, 16 months ago, there’s been a Croydon Tech City Summit and social gatherings, the Code Club movement is expanding, giving the opportunity for kids from primary school-age learning to code and lots of networking and partnership discussions.

There’s always a really positive vibe, interesting people to meet from the large group of technically-minded people to other marketing companies, ideas people, to the odd financier.

We also discovered from one of the presentations on Thursday that the Just Croydon website had launched just 2 days before, a new social site for Croydon, and that their launch night is the same as our next Tweetup.   So, we would really encourage anyone and everyone interested in getting connected and improving Croydon in person, or online, to come down to Matthews Yard on 13th August.   The Just Croydon Launch is from 6.30pm for 7pm start in the studio with talks from Jonny Rose, Councillor Tony Newman and the Mayor of Croydon, Manju Shahul-Hameed.  

The Tweetup is just a social event, free and everyone is welcome to come along.   It starts from 7.30pm, or join up with us after the Just Croydon event, on 13 August.  See full details of the August Tweetup.  

Stephanie Darkes and Wendy Ager from Dot-Social will be there and we’re normally at the bar or outside.

 

 

 

Another successful Social Media workshop completed!

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Us Dot Social girls are very busy working on our client’s online presence lately but we also get involved in community projects, this week has been specifically focused on Purley Festival.

We have all been involved in the festival from its fruition and between us we take care of the music, organisation of the weekend finale, website design and maintenance and all the social media accounts.

As part of the Purley Festival week we thought it would be great if we ran our own event to help local businesses in our community. So on Wednesday, we ran a  Social Media workshop at Christ Church, Purley where I outlined our 6 steps to successful Social Media Strategy and Wendy shared some useful hints and tips on using Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.  Our brilliant creative genius Ania was on hand, as always to take some fantastic photographs.

The session was fully booked with plenty of independent businesses, solo entrepreneurs and a few bigger High Street companies, the workshop was a great success but don’t take our word for it, we had some great feedback…

 

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Future workshops

We will be running workshops later in the year, if you are interested in learning about getting more leverage from your Social Media drop us a line!

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging for Business – Tips

Blogging for business can be about sharing useful insights, tips, an overview of your expertise or views on your industry news and products that will help your audience and give them reason to engage with you.  To get them into your marketing funnel you want it to mean they want to link up with you by following you, subscribing, or looking for more information about what your business offers.   A well-written blog is no good on it’s own though.

To engage people you need to make it easy to read, provide ways to find out more information on the topic, either from you or elsewhere.  Great pictures, video or info graphics to help show visually what you’re talking about will really enhance your message.    

Everyone is short of time, so be careful with the length of your blog posts and videos.  When it comes to the writing, remember to cut, cut cut!  That means cut out ALL the words that are unnecessary and anywhere where you are repeating the same message.  When it comes to visuals, make sure they’re relevant, engaging and attractive.   Video should be short and either a summarised or entertaining version or addition to your blog. 

Don’t forget to make it easy for your readers to follow you on their preferred platform.  Share your Blogs regularly yourself on other platforms too.  Actively suggest people subscribe or follow your blog, so they’ll get notified when you write a new post.

Most importantly, as with all marketing, be consistent.  Keep going.  There’s nothing worse than going to a website or connecting with someone because you liked their Blog and then they stop writing it, for no apparent reason!

If you’re still not sure you can do this.  Here’s 5 reasons to blog for your business on Social Media Examiner.

We write blogs on all kinds of social media, marketing and online news and about what’s going on in and around Croydon.  Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out posts, or connect with us using the buttons below.

If you think any of your followers will like this information too, use the share buttons below…. See how this works?!

10 easy ideas to post on your Social Media

A lot of people we meet who aren’t yet using Social Media or haven’t fully integrated it into their marketing plans ask us what they should post on their Social Media channels.

There are literally hundreds of things you can post about but for some simple outgoing post suggestions for your social media, see below.   We recommend the 80/20 rule i.e. 80% sharing useful information and content and engaging with your audience and just 20% directed to your business.

1.  Promotional offers for your products/services

2. How your product/services solve your customers’ problems or help them

3. Comparisions of yours to other similar products/services

4. Reviews of your products/services or testimonials/case studies

5. Best of, top sellers or customers’ favourites

6. Your USP

7.  What you’re working on right now

9.  Industry news

10. Share photos or video of your people doing their work or using your products

We’ll post some more suggestions in the future, but hopefully these will give you some inspiration if you’re struggling with what to talk about.  Don’t forget, we’re very social and happy to join you in conversation, especially on Twitter, so do follow us @DotSocialise and

Wendy Ager @WendyAnnAger

Stephanie Darkes @StephanieDarkes

Ania Wilk-Lawton @AniaWL

Have you had enough of Facebook?

When Facebook was in full swing, it was some small business’s dream marketing tool; it was free, people were buying into it and it was a great way to communicate with customers and potential customers. But lately, the bubble feels like it’s bursting and as it become harder and more costly to promote your business on Facebook and posts on business pages are getting less and less reach.

Is Facebook disappearing to the bottom of your list of marketing priorities?

Time magazine tells us that The Free Marketing Gravy Train Is Over on Facebook, but we’ve known that for a while haven’t we? If Mark Zuckerberg didn’t capitalise on his enormous audience and the people that bought into Facebook (us) he’d be a laughing stock in the business world and an urban folk hero in the world of the ‘everyday person’

It used to be that we would suggest our clients all include a Facebook page in their marketing mix because you could always get some leverage, but now, it is very much dependant in the nature of the business and the budget that they have for Facebook ads and post boosting.

These days if you want to market your business for free, don’t look at Facebook!

Why and how to use Twitter Lists

Lists are extremely useful.  You can group people together in Twitter lists so that you can go and just see those people’s Tweets.  It’s also useful because you don’t have to follow the people you put into Lists and so you don’t have to follow them but still get to see their Tweets.  It’s another way of seeing people’s Tweets if and when you want to and you don’t have to be following them.   You can have 1000 different lists and put 5000 people in any of them, one or more.

You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. 

To create your own list,  go to the gear icon drop down menu in the top right navigation bar or from profile page just click on Lists.   That’s where you go to look at Tweets by people you’ve put in Lists and manage your lists etc.  

To add Tweeters to your lists, click the gear icon by the the Users profile and you’ll see ‘Add to List’.  

Whether to keep your Lists public or private is up to you.  If you have a bunch of confidential clients, influencers and competitors you want to ‘watch’ what they’re Tweeting about then you’ll probably want to make those private.   If you’re making a good list of contacts in one field or location that others might want to follow we’d suggest you make them Public, and that you name them clearly and positively and you’ll get other people following your lists.   

To follow other people’s lists, from their Profile click on Lists and subscribe.

 

For more on detail and help with Lists try Twitter’s “I’m having trouble with lists” information in the Help Centre.

Social Media Marketing for Croydon’s Meanwhile Use

 On Wednesday, 26th we shared our Social Media knowledge at the Meanwhile Use Croydon Marketing Day at Matthews Yard.    We were asked to provide advice on setting up a social media strategy and social media profiles.   

We stepped-in and ran the whole morning session based on our two presentations, with networking and coffee between.   Stephanie talked on creating a successful social media strategy and Wendy talked about social media profiles and improving your online presence.  There were a real mix of people in the audience, from those with an interesting idea for the Meanwhile Use Croydon scheme and some others interested in Social Media marketing for their businesses.  

It was the last day of workshops and finished with Sally Williams talking from Retail Revival.   The final applications for the Meanwhile Use Croydon competition are due in by 30th March.   

We are happy to connect you with a very supportive local online community in Croydon for campaigns, ideas and companies, so if you are on/join any of the Social Media platforms do connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+.  

 

Facebook Updates – Tips from them!

In the ever-changing world of Facebook it’s hard to keep up with what might make your posts seen or not, and even the most supportive and fanatical Facebook marketeers don’t really know, and must find it hard to keep up!  

The best way to be sure has got to be to check with Facebook themselves. Below is an extract from their Newsroom from  21st Jan 2014 on creating content for your Facebook Page.

“Many Page owners often ask what kind of content they should post. This is difficult to answer, as it depends on who your audience is and what they want to see”…

“The best way to share a link after this update will be to use a link-share, so it looks like the one below. We’ve found that, as compared to sharing links by embedding in status updates, these posts get more engagement (more likes, comments, shares and clicks) and they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in their feeds.”  

You can read the full Facebook post from their very own Newsroom here.   I hope this helps you. 

For more information from us, find us on Facebook!

Wendy Ager, for Dot Social

Croydonites Unite – Croydon, the next Tech City

Two of the Dot Social team took front row seats at the Croydon Tech City event and 2014 launch on Thurs 23rd January at Matthews Yard in Croydon.  
 
Croydon Tech City Jan 2014 Launch

Audience at Croydon Tech City Jan 2014

 
Croydon Tech City is a movement to encourage digital companies and start-ups to come into and/or work from Croydon.  The founder, Jonny Rose, outlines reasons why Croydon is well-positioned to become the ‘Second Tech City’ in his blog and on Croydon Tech City.
 
What it needed from when it was launched originally, I feel, was people, action and momentum, and boy have we got it.  Working together with Nigel Dias and Sarah Luxford, Jonny increased the numbers at their inaugural event of about 20 unsure but intrigued people to (I estimate) over 100 keen and enthused digitally-interested people, wanting and willing to work to make this become a reality.   There was a real buzz from the moment we arrived at Matthews Yard and still going when we left.  It was the sound of positivity and connections and relationships being built. 
 
We are avid supporters of this idea, of course, and want to help and build a stronger and connected Croydon that involves interesting and thriving businesses.  This will inevitably be followed by the inflow of money that supports all the other great developments coming along in and around Croydon.  
 
This was highlighted by Matt McMillan from Croydon Council with some great infographics of the talent in Croydon and the regeneration and plans to improve all kinds of spaces from leisure to business and infrastructure.  There’s more on the Westfield and Hammerson regeneration of the Whitgift Centre, transport improvements, homes, new leisure facilities and more here Croydon Partnership Masterplan too.
 
With the stories of others who have grown substantial Tech businesses from Croydon highlighted by Jonny, and talk by Simon Bird of Dot Mailer on their story, from bedroom idea to 150 employees and PLC status, it was easy to be enthused to want to support this idea of Croydon as the Second Tech City.   
 
Simon Bird, Dot Mailer talking at Croydon Tech City Jan 2014
 
Come on Croydonites, lets make it so.  Please go and follow the movement on Twitter, Facebook and visit the Croydon Tech City website.
 
Wendy Ager, for Dot Social

Get your head around Facebook business timelines

As you all should know by now, on March 30th your Facebook business page will become a business timeline so if you haven’t made the necessary changes already, it’s time to get your head around the new layouts and the features.  “Not again!” I hear you cry, as humans we are often opposed to change but I would say this is a change for the better so relax and embrace it.

I have been asked by a lot of you how the new design works so I’ve written this handy guide to hold your hand through the key changes and to help you to make your page engaging:

  1. Goodbye landing pages Facebook certainly know how to dominate a market, a lot of companies don’t use mailing lists any more they rely solely on social media to talk to their clients, your landing page can still be found in your tabs on your page but if you want to use it to capture data you have to direct potential clients to to the app via Facebook ads.
  2. Hello cover image – you now have some prime real estate at the top of your page – so make it stand out!  See the notes below for more information.
  3. Your fans can now message you directly  – I LOVE this feature, you can now speak to your fans directly, it’s a great opportunity to build relationships, encourage interaction and enhance your community.
  4. Your tabs are now apps and can be found under your timeline on the left they are  760px and you can customise them!
  5. Shiny new admin panel – making it far easier to keep track of activity, monitor the effectiveness of posts, pick up messages & learn about fans
  6. You can pin and highlight posts – making it easier to direct your fans to the posts you want them to see.

 

Here’s 3 things you should do right now!

1. Create a cover image

One of the positives of the move to the timeline is that you have a huge space to show off your business, your cover image must be 851 x 315 pix, make it engaging and exciting, have a few designed so that you can refresh them every now and then.

BUT, before you get too excited and start turning the space into a huge sales pitch, Facebook has very specific rules about how you can use that space:

Cover may not contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Enough about what  you can’t do, here’s what  you can do:

  • Keep it simple – write in a language your fans will understand
  • Be inspiring – get your fans attention with interesting bespoke designs for your fanpage
  • Brand yourself!  Incorporate logos, images and pictures

Need more inspiration?  Check out Coca Cola’s

here’s a nice one designed by the graphic designers for Redfest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Customise your Tabs

You can display 4 of your apps, you can choose which 4 you want to display AND you can customise  the  thumbnail, the only ones you can’t edit are photos and likes, you cannot move the photo tab either.

To customise the design:

  • Create an image that is 111  x  74 pixels.
  • Click on the arrow to the right of your timeline (underneath the cover image).  It will show a number which represents the number of apps you are using.
  • Click on the arrow next to the image of the app you want to change.
  • Click on edit settings.
  • Click on change (for the image)
  • Upload the new image

To move your apps:

  • Click on the arrow to the right of your timeline (underneath the cover image).  It will show a number which represents the number of apps you are using.
  • Click on the arrow next to the image of the app you want to change.
  • Select the app you’d like to swap position with

 

3. Make the most of your posts!

  • Highlight key posts (this is particularly powerful when you are posting an image).  To do this click on the star in the top right of the post to stretch the post across the page
  • Pin your posts (can be fab for competitions or posting business advertisements) Do this by clicking on the ‘edit or remove’ button and select ‘pin to top’
  • You can also add Milestones to show off achievements.

 

Last but not least, make your page go live and enjoy it!  

Remember to be engaging, provide your readers with exciting things they would like to hear about AND have fun 🙂

 

Resources: 

Image sizes you need to know

  • Cover: 851 x 315
  • Profile pic: 180 x 180
  • Thumbnail for apps: 111 x 74
  • Highlighted & milestone images: 843 x 403
  • Images within wall posts display as 404 x 404.

Facebook help