Feb 18

Next Social Media Masterclass.


On Tuesday 5th March, The Social Media Stuido will be hosting an Advanced Social Media Marketing and PR Masterclass in Birmingham.If you book and pay before Wednesday 13th Feburary you qualify for our Early Bird discount making the course £360.00 + VAT.


Packed full of supportive case studies and hands-on exercises, the studio class size is deliberately kept small so you can ask the gurus as many questions as you want.

There are limited places available and seats are booked on a first-come first-served basis.

Kind Regards
Becky Williams

The Social Media Studio
+44 (0)800  046 3469 becky@thesocialmediastudio.co.uk

Sep 24

Is social media easy to apply across export markets?

Good question! Social networking is a tremendous tool for developing and supporting business all over the world. But there are differences – different languages and cultures for a start. People in other nations also have preferences for other platforms – many countries have their own unique platform.

We’ve been involved in export development since before social media poked its head above the parapet, so it seemed natural to join those skills with sm skills to help people understand how to give an international punch to their marketing and communications. Check out our new workshop>

Social Media for export

Sep 24

Why the social good-guy?

Lots of people talk about social media, but really useful, actionable help seems thin on the ground.

We’ve been working on the web since its early days, around 1990. When social internet first appeared we were keen to jump in there. We studied, practised and sought to broaden our knowledge. We went to a host of presentations and seminars, but came away feeling hungry and a bit disappointed.

But what we really wanted were real actions

People give you lots of facts and figures about the media – ‘Twitter is the size of a small planet’, ‘If Facebook was a continent it would be… a very big one.’ Lots of interesting facts and figures – some stunning, some hard to get your head around. But what we really wanted were real actions. Things we could take away and put into practice.

So, we decided to put our money where our mouth is. We would put together our extensive knowledge together with years of skills in delivering training and coaching. Teaming up with Social Media Studio in Birmingham, and the great Katie Lee, we delivered our first workshop in the summer. It was a great success and proved the concept we shared with our partners was what people wanted.

The Social Good Guy is now saddled up and ready to ride. More courses and products are on the way, and a string of consultancy projects have kicked of for what looks like a busy Autumn.

Sep 02

Finding the right social media specialist and avoiding snake oil salesmen.

Choosing social media specialists- avoid snake oil salesmenHow do you find the right social media trainer, coach or consultant?

The market seems full of ‘social media specialists’, so it can be a real problem finding the person or company who can really deliver what you want. So where do you start?

First decide what you want.

Social media specialists are not all the same. For example, trainers are good at teaching and passing on knowledge. This is a very different skill from that of a consultant who will help you actually do the job. Think of the brilliant mathematician who may be a poor communicator – this is not the teacher you would want. If you are looking for a trainer, choose a professional with good communication skills, not just a clever blogger.

Coaching is not the same as training. A coach will work with individuals or companies to develop based upon their specific skills or resources. For an individual or small business who needs to do their own social networking, a coach may be a better though slightly more costly choice.

Consultants come in many flavours too, based upon their specialisms and experience. Check out that their skills match what you need.

Write a spec.

Put down on a piece of paper what you want from your ideal supplier.

  • Do you want training, coaching, consultancy or someone to do the work for you?
  • Do you want a single person or a company?
  • What skills do you expect your supplier to have?
  • What experience do you expect?
  • Match your profile – do you want someone with experience in, say, B2B or B2C, particular sector specialism, local, national or international expertise?

Use your network

Ask colleagues, suppliers, people you know, for recommendations. If you are member of an organisation or professional society – ask them.

Prepare your questions.

Okay, so you have your short list of possible providers – what are the key questions you want them to answer? Note down as many as you can think of then narrow them down to, say, three killer questions.
Most important, you want evidence. Recommendations from people you know, references from people who have had good experiences. Past projects, client lists. Unfortunately there are no accreditation bodies or professional associations for social media specialists so make sure you do your homework.

Social Media Workshops from the Social Good Guy

Aug 17

Social media platforms – the magnificent seven.

What are the platforms you can’t ignore? We here that some networks are losing popularity, the truth is that there are new platforms springing up like weeds. Of course people are attracted to these shiny new toys and stop playing with their old favourites for a while. Trends change. But in all this mass of choices, there are some that we just can’t ignore.

1. Facebook

Now one of the grand old ladies of social media. Sure there has been a lot of bad press recently and some new kids on the block are flexing their muscles – but Facebook has a huge power base. Add to that a fat wallet and you would be foolish to write it off.

It may struggle to keep up with the race into mobile but should still be a cornerstone of any strategy.

2. Twitter

What may have been seen as limitations have turned into Twitter’s strengths. The quirky short messages are so in tune with the SM age. It hit a chord with a huge cross-section of society, from businessmen to kids, politicians to musicians.

With so many other services and apps developing around the platform it is perhaps the lingua franca of the social world.

Tweeting is magnificent.

3. YouTube

Good old YouTube has hidden strengths that have kept pace with trends and have pushed it to the forefront. It seemed to fall from favour for a while, but the move to increasingly visual media has breathed new life into it.

Don’t forget, YouTube is one of the biggest search tools. It’s strengths in aiding SEO should not be overlooked. If you want to get around in social media don’t forget to use the Tube.

4. MySpace

No longer the force it once was, but you can’t ignore the stats. Still getting 70,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors according to Ebizmba. Look very closely at the demographics and psychographics and if they match your target, the numbers speak for themselves.

5. Linkedin

For business, you can’t ignore LinkedIn. I meet many serious businesspeople on workshops who profess to have no time for social media – when ask: ‘Are you on LinkedIn?’ They answer, yes, but don’t class that with other networking. Major businesses and national and international organisations have presences here. It is huge, far-reaching and effective.

Not for telling folks you are sitting in Starbucks enjoying a latte, but if you are earnest about your business, you have to be there.


6. Google+

A relative newcomer and there is a lot of discussion about Google+ – not all good by any means. For most, the jury is still out.

I justify including it here for a few pressing reasons: firstly, it is ‘Google’. That means there is big resource behind it and whatever happens here will be inextricably linked with search and the rest of that platform’s offer. Also, it moves Google towards a more mobile approach. Finally its growth has been very impressive – it reached that target of 50 million users in three months compared with three years for competitive platforms.

Okay, it has a lot of work to do, but it is a giant that can’t be ignored.

7. Pinterest

Another new kid on the block: I thought long and hard about this one. My view is that the two key drivers for the near future are mobile and visual platforms. Pinterest seems to have got the visual aspect bang on target. Sure there are others – but this medium suddenly won the high ground and the hearts of many. I get the feeling its success surprised even its founders and there seemed to be a little hiatus around what to do with this achievement.

It’s not difficult to see how Pinterest can appeal to individuals and businesses alike. It should not be hard to build a sound commercial offer on this platform – something other social media has notably struggled with.

Jul 23

Want to measure? Watch for the movement.

Track behaviour in social mediaThere are many methods and tools available to monitor social media, but it’s important to remember that all you are seeing is a snapshot in time. Often the view is muddied by returning visitors and multiple clicks. Are you counting the same person twice and does it matter? A still picture of a sports match is great… but what we want to know is what happened next –  we need a video… we need movement.

Often the most reliable data analysis you can do is to average figures and look at how things move over time. This is an obvious strategy when looking at campaigns, but it’s a sensible approach to our general measurement. You don’t want an out-of-date picture – you want to know what is happening. You want to see trends – to predict. Knowing how many followers you have tells you nothing about their experience or how the feel about you. Seeing what they do over time tells a great deal.

Good or bad, it’s behaviour that matters.

What we are interested in is behaviour: we need to see how people engage with us, how they respond to our actions and how this behaviour changes over time.

Fortunately the data is there and the simplest of tools can help us. At the most basic level, once we have decided what it is important to measure, we need to make a benchmark. Simply put, that is where we are now. Put the data in a spreadsheet, then at regular intervals re-measure the data and add it to the sheet. Graph the data and compare it to your activity over the same period.

We are lucky that the social media arena is full of tools that do all that analysis over time for us. Google analytics, Klout, Socialbro and Hootsuite, for example, are brilliant at providing data on movement and behaviour. What you need to do is keep a record of your activity – your posts, campaigns and tweets etc.

Social Media Workshops from the Social Good Guy

Jul 20

Social media measurement – how effective is your strategy?

“If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.”

It’s an old adage – but has more than a grain of truth. Despite social media being perhaps the most measurable of marketing activities, a lot of people still struggle with measuring effectiveness.

The video shows a slide presentation used in the Social Good Guy Measurement workshops. Measuring effectiveness need not be scary – it’s not rocket science, it just needs understanding and a few basic skills. If you want to learn more, just check out our Workshops page.

Social Media Measurement Workshops from the Social Good Guy

Jul 19

Why you need a social media strategy – and how to create one.

One of the best definitions of ‘strategy’ is; “The organization and application of resources to achieve an objective.”

Social media can be very demanding on resource – not least of which is time. Time is a very valuable commodity. It’s important to ensure that you are expending it where it will deliver the optimum results – that’s what strategy is all about.

The video demonstrates a slide show from the Social Good Guy strategy workshop. Find out more and learn how to get your strategic ducks in a row and deliver measurable results.

Social Media Workshops from the Social Good Guy

Jul 14

With the power of social channels, is the website on its way out?

Is the website dead?With concentration on Facebook and Twitter pages and timelines, the importance of the website may be on the decline.

A long-standing business associate of mine who has long ignored my imprecations to sharpen up his digital marketing has a recent epiphany and phoned we with an urgent request – “Can you help me re-build my website, urgently?” There were some urgent issues that needed to be addressed in terms of a wider digital strategy and my instant advice was to get his social media ducks in a row first – a Facebook page, twitter presence and Linkedin profile. Increasingly, this is the area businesses are needing to address as a priority, and I had automatically recommended this action as a fundamental to get right. It is quicker, less costly and will have faster pay-back than work on the website.

I saw a recent story of a company who had launched their new business venture solely on Instagram. Another agency had solely built a presence on Pinterest and had no website. A few sort years ago this would have been unthinkable, but now I can well conceive of a business without a traditional website.

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” was the quote attributed to Mark Twain after an obituary was mistakenly published. We don’t want to make the same mistake about the website, but its pivotal place in digital marketing may be under attack. It is certainly not in intensive care yet, but the symptoms may call for careful monitoring.

Jun 29

The future is mobile, how well are the big players positioned?

It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to predict that the future of social media is mobile. That’s not just my opinion, some key studies recently underline the fact. In a recent comscore report, data suggests that Facebook and Twitter users already spend more time using the platforms over mobile devices than they do on traditional computers.

A team at Stanford University have already put together a project MobiSocial, to imagine how technologies will come together to create this new world.

If social/mobile is the future, how well are the big players positioned to capitalize upon it? Although social is not that old in digital terms, many of the original operators came from the world of the desktop and laptop computer. Computing is in their DNA. By comparison, some of the newer entrants have emerged from the era of smartphones and tablets. Others have been making the transition – smoothly or painfully.

The future of social media is mobile

At one end of the scale, we have platforms such as Stumble, Digg and Del.icio.us, who are firmly rooted in the idea of web pages. How they will fare in a mobile world remains to be seen. Linkedin is also very much a web product, but is already feeling its way into mobile as evidenced by the cool, Fliboard-like  iPad app.

Some visual/social players such as tumblr, and more recently, Pinterest seem really comfortable as web pages, but are smoothly adapting. As social is becoming mobile it is also becoming visual. These platforms, together with the venerable YouTube (and its clones) are naturals for the mobile arena.

Already swimming in the mobile end of the pool are a number of offerings who are children of the new wave.

The world is moving, the world is mobile – the future may be that the only way is mobile.

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