Monday, December 17, 2012

What to Look for When You’re Hiring Your Social Media Staff.

There’s a lot of social media tools out there, but they all rely on one thing. A human being to use them effectively.

I'm often asked how I go about hiring staff for our agency, and how I find the right person I can trust to run a public presence on behalf of our clients. Hiring the right people is just as important for single brands as it is agencies like ourselves. Here’s my basic hiring criteria to find the right kind of person capable of adopting the wide variety of ‘voice’ and brand standards our clients expect. Naturally there is a training process attached to this, and we create very specific brand voice documents and sample messaging documents to make sure each client is represented correctly, but what do I look for when building a team (an international team at that) to make sure we get the right people for the job? Formal qualifications in social media are starting to appear, but what else does a candidate need?

Who Are We?
First interview question, "What do you know about our company". It's a classic, and if they've not at least got the basics from the website the interview pretty much stops there. It's not rocket science to visit and 'About Us' page. Do not pass go, do not collect salary.

Social Experience
A potential new recruit doesn't have to have worked professionally in social media before, indeed college leavers are of just as much interest to us as we need a broad cross-section of demographics, but one of my first ports of call is their own social media channels. If they have worked with brands before this is obviously a bonus, but I'm just as keen to see how they manage their own Facebook hobby pages, their Twitter account, their LinkedIn profile, and how they control their personal brand on-line? Is everything a channel offers 100% complete? If not, why not? Are they engaging? Are they abreast of the new services the social channels offer?

In addition, from a few minutes looking at someone's social media channels I can tell if they blog, what papers they read, what videos they watch, and a wealth of other data.

Strong Written Language Skills
In social we have to write in a variety of ‘voices’, but it’s exceptionally rare that broken grammar or poor punctuation is part of the brand identity. Start a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’ and it’s the kiss of death for me. Accuracy is important, as is the ability to create simple and concise messaging. For this we use a custom on-line accuracy checking system that requires the individual to create and edit a blog post within a given time. If something like this isn't available we would insist on a written test at interview. Without the required results the hiring process would stop right there.

Can I work with this person? Simply, do we strike a bond at interview and are they ‘client facing’? Could this person, further down the line, perform client training? How do they carry themselves at interview? I'm not looking for a suit and tie or pencil skirt here, but are they presentable and do they have an air of professionalism (and a sense of humour) that would fit the rest of the team? People need a certain professional bearing to be taken seriously in on-line media, especially social which is still (to some) an 'unproven science'.

Reporting and Analytic Experience
Anyone can press a button and generate a report. Indeed, there’s a lot of social media software will do this for you, but that’s no substitute for understanding (at least the basics ) of what those numbers mean, and (more importantly) what they might mean to a client. I normally run a quick visual test with one of our larger accounts. We have an on-line gaming client with over 86,000 Facebook followers, and I usually ask a few simple questions like “How would you find what type of content this clients followers engage with the most?”, or “Can you see who the obvious brand evangelists are?” or “This client is looking to achieve blah, how do you think we would measure that?”. This is run of the mill stuff, and if the candidate has the answers it’s a great start.

Branding and Marketing Knowledge
This is something that can often be reflected in formal qualifications. Many marketing degree twenty-somethings are moving towards social and bringing their university skill-set with them. It’s a good fit. Does this person understand the core concepts of what we do? If I say 'brand personality'  or 'brand traits' I need to know they have a grip of the core concepts. Can they tell me 2 or 3 social (or traditional) campaigns they admire or have found push the right buttons for them (and why)? If I say 'brand pyramid' or 'magic quadrant'  do they know what I mean or stare at me blankly? Obviously, resume experience with other brands is a bonus (but not always essential).

What other activities does this person engage in outside of work? Social needs a broad knowledge of a million and one other subjects, especially in an agency environment. Do they fill in knowledge gaps I don’t have, like football, home decorating, women's fashion, vegan cooking, or hobo wrestling, and do we have clients this would suit? Pro-active interests and a diversity of knowledge is always a bonus. My interest is always piqued if I see people have minor acting, LRP, or table-top RP experience; I've noticed engagement seems to come far more naturally to them.

An individual can be trained in the use of social media tools, and I don’t expect a candidate to know everything (unless they are looking for 'everything' money) right away. Individual social tools can be trained, indeed many have their own video courses and ‘universities’ nowadays and this is less important than the elements above. A driven enough individual can soon pick up the interface skills required for the day-to-day, and to produce basic reports. There’s a million books, white papers, industry blogs and webinars out there.  I encourage new recruits to read, experiment with their own projects, and we have a great learning policy here. A curiosity to learn and a willingness to experiment in their own time is a bonus.

Once you have the talent it's important to foster it, but (for any company) getting the raw recruits is key.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Waffly Badly-lit Interviews

So this is me talking to Ben Trotter, the poor bloke assigned to me at Just Search Digital who I give all the shit jobs to once week (not really, honest). He's from Agency Life at MMU.

As part of their course the guys from MMU have to produce a video about what they're doing and the agencies they're on placement with, so he interviewed yours truely about what I do and how we're working with the students.

It's a bit long, but it's unedited so he'll probably get something out of it eventually. It's a bold choice of framing that gives the impression I'm a super grass.

Ben also spoke to Adam, my long-suffering social media assistant and second-in-command, about his day-to-day. He's younger, slimmer, and far more coherent. You should probably watch this one instead.

It's a living.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

How to get Admin Status on a LinkedIn Page for a Company you Don't Work for.

Ok, this took a bit of finding so I'm putting this down in one place for posterity.

A client came to us, as they do, and wanted me to revamp, update, admin, and share content messaging and links on their outdated LinkedIn Page for them. There's a lot you can do with Company Pages nowadays and their's was lookin' a bit 2011.

life's too short to have to go looking for LinkedIn tutorials

Last time I did this was a while ago and I logged in via the clients personal profile, and technically that's against LinkedIn terms and conditions, but I'd noticed that Hootsuite now has engagement functionality for LinkedIn so I rationalised it must be possible to access a Company Page as an admin even if you don't work for the company. Turns out that's true, obviously, but it took some investigation worthy of the pen of Conan Doyle to find out how. For some reason no one was making the knowlege easily searchable, so here's the skinny:

You need to be an admin of a Company Page to add fresh admins, so you need to get an existing company rep to do this for you (but at least you can send them these instructions).
  • Before starting this exercise you'll need to be connected to the person who you want to make admin of your Company Page.
  • When you're logged into LinkedIn, go to your Company Page - either go to 'Companies' at the top of the homepage and use search, of hover over 'Companies' in the navigation at the top and look for your Company Page (before the divider, in the drop down).
  • When you get to the Company Page, click 'Edit' (in the blue box in the upper right).
  • You'll see the 'Designated Admins' section, top left of the editable options, and as you begin to type the name of a connection that you want to be an admin, they'll appear in the list of options and you can select them.
  • Click 'Publish'. Boom.
No messing around with having to have an email addresses on the same domain as the Company Page etc. Hope this is of use to someone, this is one for the long-tail search, because damned if we could find this info easily when we needed it earlier today.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Yeah. I Just did that...

So close. Nearly posted AdultoysUK to JustSearch.

As my dad says: "Measure twice. Cut once". Just caught it in time.

Important safety tip, thanks Egon. A sobering reminder that it pays to check twice.

Seriously, so damn close...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Top 6 Social Media Myths Businesses Believe

Here's a few things I hear often when talking to clients, usually things they hear from other agencies or from the well meaning soccer-mom in HR who runs a Facebook Page for her kids junior school. God deliver us from the half-informed and their SM knowledge based on Radio 4 sound bites. Having worked on social channels for Ripley's Believe it or Not!, by immersion in the genre alone I feel qualified to highlight the Top 6 Social Media Myths Businesses Believe.

Draw me like one of those French girls.

We NEED to be on LinkedIn.

*sigh* Do you? Do you really? Why?

If I had a pound for every time I'd heard someone say this (or that they NEED to be on ANY channel) I'd have a sock full of pound coins to beat them with. Channels are strategy agnostic. Ok, maybe if you're a print company with loads of spare time (as an individual) to do all the networking and outreach on LinkedIn then this could be interesting for you, maybe, but without proper strategy you've no way of knowing. Without proper strategy this is just throwing mud against the wall and seeing what sticks.

You don't NEED to be on a certain social network unless you've clearly examined your goals and objectives, turned them into tactics, looked at your brand voice, considered your limitations and assets, and given this some serious thought. Maybe you can get better outreach and a faster response, for a lesser time commitment, on Twitter?

Do the work, or let people like me do it for you, then decide.

If you build it, they will come.

Eat me. You know you want to.
No, they won't. Trust me, unless you put the time and effort in your Facebook Page is going to stay as quiet as an angels fart, forever.

Sure, if you're Disney Florida they'll come, but you're not working for the mouse and no body cares about your brand unless you start caring about them, give something away, provide an invaluable service, or come up with something special.

I often use the same analogy -

Nobody is going to follow 'Joe Bloggs Bacon'. Everyone and their dog will follow 'I love a Bacon Sandwich, sponsored by Bloggs Bacon'.

BOOM, something people can actually relate to. That'll boost the numbers. Then we deliver daily fun bacony related facts, recipes, bacon pics and vids to boost that EdgeRank and Retweets. Develop a #bacontastic world-cook-off hashtag event, register in the pork products section of Twitter directories, stick the logos on your packaging and link and embed from your website. Reach out to people asking bacon questions and give them bacon answers, and experiment with some social ads targeted at cured meat fans. Offer a 'win your own weight in Bloggs Bacon' sweepstake (or 'spa days' and 'iPads', trust me, everyone loves either spa days or the latest Apple product) and a few money off coupons, mention social in your traditional PR, generate some viral content like bacon factoid infographics, nose-to-tail outback engine block cooking tips, build and video a Skyrim bacon helmet, etc., the list goes on. Did you know that bacon possesses 6 ingredient types of umami, which elicits an addictive neurochemical response? - basic boolean Google research'll tell you this stuff, it's not rocket-science. Anyway, this is how a community grows. You need to put in time, effort, and imagination, or all you'll have is a fan page full of offal.

It'll only take 5 minutes a day.

Er, no.

Maybe one Twitter post will, if you're already logged in and know what you're going to say. This isn't simply updating your status and clinking 'like' on a few baby pictures. This is business. Let's just do some VERY basic maths here based on (literally 100's of) social channels I've been involved with over the past 6 years. This is the MINIMUM stuff for Facebook and Twitter (the two popular ones that feature in most businesses on-line campaigns):

Facebook: minimum 3 posts a week: research, set-up, image gathering (remember ATE: Always Think Edgerank), not including any content creation like writing a blog post, this is just the basics: 45 minutes.

Twitter: minimum 3 posts a day, 7 days a week: research, set-up, image gathering, hastag research, basic answering of questions and queries (let's say you get just one every other day) with no outreach: 105 minutes.

Social Media on a Student Budget.
So just to keep two channels ticking over that's 2 and a half hours a week. This is total no frill social media. No proper engagement or outreach, just broadcasting news and products and trying to be of use to people by having interesting stuff to say. Now lets add in some of the good (but still basic) stuff:

1 original feature length blog post (a bit smaller than this one) with research and image sourcing: 3 hours.

1 custom image or Infographic: from 20 minutes to 6+ hours, depending on complexity. If you want original viral content add another hour (at least) for research. Add another 10 minutes to post it to Pinterest, and another 10 minutes per researched image after that to make your Pinterest up to 3 images a day (so of value to your followers). Yada, yada.

Client outreach on Twitter. Finding people asking questions on what your business does, answering them, generally being unassumingly awesome to people etc.: at least an hour a day.

Another channel, lets say just replicating content to Google Plus or LinkedIn from your Facebook (nothing original, even though it should be) about 10 minutes per post per channel.

Need I go on? There's also all the 'keeping up with how the channels are evolving' and on top of changing interfaces and all the things and tricks you can do, plus 'distraction time' (omg, kittens!) to consider as well. Businesses should do the maths, look at their assets, and either do it properly, get help, or know their limitations and act accordingly. Social takes time and effort, or frankly it's not worth bothering (you'll just look like you don't care in front of your audience if you can't put the time and assets in required).

Blogging is dead.

No, no, no, n-no, no, no. You're thinking of print.

Journalism, good research/writing, and unique content are the hottest damn things on the Internet. Any one who tries to tell you different is as mad as a bag of cats.

Blogging is the backbone of content marketing, and content marketing is is the growing art of talking with business customers (without selling). It's about writing good content (blogging) about things that your potential clients will care about (all that lovely redistributable long-tail) while providing a service to them by default, thus attracting them to your blog/website where you keep all your other goodies (that happen to be for sale).

Hail to the king. Only Ash and Content are king.
Businesses are getting increasingly aware that their once couch-potato cash-cows are getting sceptical. Actually, we've been sceptical for a while. We all know when someone is trying to advertise at us. We've pretty much shut ourselves off to the traditional world of marketing. We all own a magic box that skips the TV advertising, we deftly thumb past magazine ads, and we've become so adept at online "surfing" that we flick over information without a passing thought for banners or buttons - making them almost totally irrelevant (unless you subscribe a positive value to subliminal branding), animated or otherwise.

Savvy business marketers know that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute. We all need to get to grips with the notion that there has to be a better way. Thought leaders, futurists, marketing experts, and self styled on-line gurus/ninjas/mavens around the globe are saying that content marketing isn't just the future, it's the present. It's all about content, and blogging is a massive part of this ongoing and evolving process. The more often a business publishes new and useful content on their blog, the more successful their blog is likely to be and the more often it'll get trawled by search engines. What's not to love? In the words of Bill Gates, “Content is King.”

Break the mold, Be different. Blog outside the box.

If you're a stationary company and you're releasing a new bigger box of paper don't write about your new bigger box of paper, that's just dull and hardly anyone is going to care. Add some entertainment value. Talk about recycling? How about an article on Papyrophobia, or perhaps stationary fetishism? Too much? Well, anyway, you get the gist. Find your angle, and if necessary apply it to your product. Every link you publish on social channels that links back to your blog/website or solid piece of content shared is pure fried cold. Blogging is far from dead, in fact (in my humble opinion) it may well be the future of organic SEO.

Social Media ROI is hard to measure.

Ok, here we go again, one more time for the hard of understanding.

Go back to your goals. What does your specific business consider a win? Whatever it is, it's the steps towards that which your company should be measuring. For example (based on some of my previous clients):

Size is important. Apparently.
You're a visitor attraction in central London. You want to use social media to drive 'foot fall' (boost visitor numbers). Using a capture and engage tactic, you keep your fan base up to date on topical related issues and engaged in your subject matter/venue news, then push events and deals to them. You measure those who click 'Yes, I'm coming', count vouchers and voucher codes used, keep and eye on the uptake of any FourSquare promos, and you have point of sale questioners asking people how they found out about the event (essentially, folks with clipboards doing quick 1-1 surveys in return for a small gift etc. and social media channels as individual options).

You're an alcohol brand from So Cal. You want to use social media to demonstrate to the buyers at 'Target' that your brand has a following. Using a branding tactic and strong engagement tactic, you give your fan base ownership by getting them to choose new names for wines, pick label designs, etc. and get them talking about how and why and with whom they drink wine - making a much more general fun community that just a single brand outlet. In this instance you want to prove numbers. You want to be able to say to Target that "We have XXXXXX loyal fans, XXXXXX of which talk on our Facebook Page every week and if we ran a voucher offer with you guys it would reach XXXXXXXX people". On a personal note I've seen this measurement/tactic work particularly well for several authors I've worked with in securing them a publisher - "Look, I have XXXXXX fans following my online stories and clamouring for my novel" etc.

You're a small artisan bakery/sandwich shop in a UK city. You want to use social media to bring people to the shop or to order by phone/online/Twitter, and to get them to buy on a regular basis. You want to make a point of contact with people, and to listen to your customers. You're involved locally with local small business issues, so you're going to use some small business news and you've got time to do some 1-1 outreach. Perhaps all you need to measure here is people who say hi and show you they follow you on Twitter in order to get free coffee? Want to go further, how about an online questioner with a voucher code for a free cup cake? Better still, how about measuring reaction to 1-1 communication? When you speak to local people via local channels are they then coming into the shop and claiming their "free muffin to cheer them up cos they having a bad day"? Can you show immediate growth in sales of croissant (no matter how small) after you took 2 minutes to Tweet out a picture of them coming hot out of the oven? (#comeandgetit)

You're a high quality bespoke lighting company specialising in luxury homes and public spaces. You're relatively new to market and, using content from your PR efforts, your goal is to strengthen your brand in the marketplace and encourage positive press coverage. You decide 'reach' is going to be the best way to measure success. You generate valuable (to your end purchaser, not your peer group) custom content and distribute it as part of your ongoing online marketing, using social to spread it. You can measure people who can see your content directly through your social channels, friends of people who share your content, through your forward-to-a-friend feature on your blog, via people clicking through from your email marketing, all in one metric. Looking at how engaged your audience with your content will give you a good idea of what's working via 'social shares' (i.e., retweets, likes) and the level of your content. Did your audience feel connected with your article on low maintenance pool lighting enough to share it with their networks? Should you be talking about home project budgeting instead? NB: Interactions with your brand are not always generated as responses to your content. Don't forget to look at what's being said about the product that's not being generated by you.

Anyway, you get the gist, right? Every 'win' is different. In short, just think about it. Why are you doing this? What value are you seeking? Not every number will be interesting to you. Go back to your core goals. What do you want to get out of this? You need to find the numbers and customer actions that are important to what you're trying to achieve, and measure that.

Social doesn't work for B2B, only B2C. 

B2B Social: go tell it on de mountain.
Why, because B2B's use robots and not people?

Ok, sure, you have to be strategic (but you should be being strategic anyway). Some of the best campaigns I've seen are B2B campaigns, and they work, especially utilizing outreach. Again 'content is king' here. Video, graphical, blog, all specifically aimed at the user-base. Most businesses have a social presence nowadays, and so you can speak to them directly. If they are working as hard as you are in social then they are listening, and your brand and their brand can communicate.

Blogging is the most effort, but the highest return in social media for business to business. Blogs are a great option for creating brand awareness, connections, and building communities of trust and engagement. 
For lead generation, LinkedIn is probably the most effective social media outlet - if you have the time to go connection delving and be a part of the groups and communities. I'm a big fan of targeted video in this area, and a exponent of the services of the Wooshii creative community for making it happen. If you have no clue where to start these guys can sort you out for minimal expenditure. For some raw stats I'm a big fan of this article in Social Media Examiner - How B2B Marketers Use Social Media: New Research by Phil Mershon - and I'd only be duplicating facts from the same report if I didn't just push you there instead. Just think about some of the tactics you can use to reach out to other firms: how about using Q&A networks to boost your thought leadership, reach out and answer peoples questions and start conversations, and push that branded content (also via RSS) towards the specialist press (which reminds me, I'm rather liking 'Help a Reporter Out' as a more online/trad way for generating a bit of press coverage right now).

So, there you have it. The top 6 things I hear that businesses still believe about social. Everything above is based on facts, not myths. If you’ve set your goals and properly planned a measurable campaign, all things are possible.

If you think of any more, let me know. I feel a sequel coming already, and it's only Monday morning...

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Using Share Code for Twitter

Work's been keeping me busy and I've been writing a lot of social-related stuff over on the JustSearch blog, so here's a super simple (and underused) Twitter thing to keep stuff ticking over.

This is the code needed to make a share button. Really, rocket science this ain't: You Want Folks to Tweet

Click Here to see what it does, and to give this post some props.

Oh, and be warned hastags (#) are best avoided in your status as they can mess things up and truncate the message. NB: see a solution for this in comments below, if needed.

Now this may not be Wernher von Braun territory, but this has more cool uses than you'd think. It's not the code, it's what you do with it that counts:
  • Say, for example, you just gave your visitors a freebie pdf report on something of value to them, this is a perfect spontaneous way to look like thought leaders and to encourage them to say thanks and spread the word.
  • Say, for example, you have a campaign and are trying to get signatures on a petition on another channel, you could even use this to encourage people to send a specific message to a policy maker if you put the MP's Twitter handle at the beginning of the message.
  • Say, for example, you want to give your business, cause, or individual Klout score a nudge. Try testing the long-tail in include your firms twitter handle in the code and give people some content worth sharing.
  • Say, for example, you are trying to raise awareness of a specific cause or issue from your website. With the right messaging this is a quick win for people to show their support and to get a specific message out.
The limitation is in how creative your prepared to get, not the code. Sure, it's simple, but sometimes simple things can work best if you have the right (and creative) strategic fit for them.

Let me know if you find a cool use for it, and have a great weekend.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Finding Folks Who Need You on Twitter

I've not posted anything for a while, I've been busy with things over at Just Search, so I thought I'd share a quick tip for using Twitter. I'm often asked about conducting Twitter outreach, and here's something you can do that doesn't involve a lot of expensive custom tools.

I use this trick with Hootsuite, having the searches running all the time to look for engagement points for clients and making a point to reach out using these every day. It's really simple, and it's a conversation starter that genuinely leads to interaction, connections, and ultimately sales or donations. Twitter is a weapons-grade listening device, it just takes a few simple tricks to make it easy to use.

Weapons Grade Listening Device

Go to the Twitter search box and try this. Run a search with "-filter:links" in it, that'll search for things with the keywords you use but without links. This is kinda important for what we're going to add next as we're not interested in people 'providing links', we're looking for people who want help, need support, and are looking for info.

Next try typing a few phrases (and add your keywords) like this, and don't forget the -filter:links in your search (I believe using '-http' also works). This'll show the people who are looking for folks who need help or are asking questions about your Twitter accounts subject matter:
  • where can I get 'keyword' -filter:links
  • how to 'keyword' -filter:links
  • anyone know 'keyword' -filter:links
  • what's the best 'keyword' -filter:links
  • how do I 'keyword' -filter:links
  • need help 'keyword' -filter:links
Give it a go. Different phrases will work better for different topics, try your own. Try adding some regional words for better targeting. For me, this was a proper hallelujah moment. Oh, and if you ever need to, 'filter:links' will pull back tweets ONLY containing links. Let me know if you find this useful, and I'll post more stuff like this if you do.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I am the 4%. A Chaps View of Pinterest.

I’d hate to feel this is jumping on the ‘lets write an article on Pinterest' band-wagon, but I’ve got something I wanted to say - and that’s that ‘I like it’

I’m a 45 year old married Englishman. I’m not a scrap-booker, not genetically disposed to care about soft furnishings, and I’m not planning a wedding. I am, however, quietly addicted to Pinterest. Admittedly I’m quite rare. Out of the 12 million monthly unique users only 4% of are male, and it’s a platform populated with aspirational graphical content offering little stimulus to most chaps. These stats are based on US users, however, so there may be some cultural deviation here

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being dismissive of the content or the audience – far from it – but the bulk of content in general streams isn’t stuff I’m interested in and that’s just how it is. I’m fully aware - as a strategist of all things social – that this platform is a pure fried gold if I want to target the lifestyle market, people with families (50% of users have children) or women in general.

So, what do I find so good about it? Here are 6 things:
  • It’s easy to sign up. Do I want to sign in using my Facebook details and be able to find my friends? Why yes, don’t mind if I do. Over 9 million monthly Facebook-connected users so far, and rising.
  • It’s visual. It appeals to the graphic designer in me. As developers we should be optimizing our web images for Pinterest starting immediately – especially if you or your clients are in ecommerce.
  • It’s always there. Pinterest uses a browser-based snipping tool I just click on, pick a category, and it’s saved and shared. Very clean and simple.
  • It really is social. My friends are my friends because, on the whole, we share at least some similar tastes. It’s adding to my life and helping me find things that I care about right now. It seems to be genuinely providing me a service. Honestly, how often does that happen?
  • Repinning, liking, commenting – just the right balance of information to make it friendly, but without loosing track of what my content is about due to other peoples irrelevant activity in my stream.
  • I rather like the iPhone app. It’s good for a browse on the train after Flipboard’s given me my aggregated daily ‘need-to-know’. As with all platforms built to promote use, it’s easy to access and fills a gap in my casual browsing. If it ever pulls into Flipboard with image import (and sharing out to Pinterest) I’d be a happy man.
The problem of being outside of ones demographic is self-replicating. I sometimes find myself in social media channels talking to other social media people about social media if there’s nothing else to do. However, that’s not happening and I put some of this down to the way I’ve deliberately made my boards and what I opt into. I am a bit of an RSS and feeds-geek, admittedly. I follow a lot of actual boards (which are far more targeted) than ‘individual people’. Pulling in their niche interests that correspond with mine as opposed to the total stream.

As a guy it’s initially hard to find content in the general content, and when you do it tends to be culinary related, clothing, or the more aesthetic side of gadgettery. Where are the fast cars, and gentlemen’s grooming accessories? A new service still in beta might be the answer. Gentlemint pitches it’s self as a ‘mint of manly things’ and has promise. I started playing with it last week. It has a good stream of moustache products, classical and impractical automobiles, cocktail making and real ale tips, and other visual treats that appeal to my content tastes. While it currently lacks the well balance features set of Pinterest this appears to be only because of it’s age and I’ll be keeping a friendly eye on it as it develops. Also worth a look, professionally, is Fancy - less popular but with a head-start at moneterization through a built-in deals platform with notable ecomms already signed up.

For business Pinterest has great promise. There seems to be some ambiguity on ownership of content that still warrants investigation for clients, but if you have a lifestyle brand or service appropriate to the audience there’s real social potential (and an SEO boost as a possible hidden extra). Pinterst could offer a nice client service as well as being a place to share your wares with a growing audience.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Trousers Now Required

So, I've taken a permanent job with actual holidays and salary and sick days and self respect and stuff.

A real job - not that 3 years with Conversify etc. wasn't - but this one requires trousers, the use of public transport, and a serious moderation of my usual colourful language. To be honest it was all pretty quick. I took out a LinkedIn Pro account and got the job within 8 days. No messing about.

I'm now Head of Social for Just Search, a digital agency in Cheshire.

More news soon, it's all bit busy right now and I'm up at 5:15am to get there, but I'm recruiting a team of social media pros to take this forward so keep an eye on this space. If you're near Manchester, know social, and your looking to be part of something cool/interesting give the guys in the HR dept. a call via the link above.

I promise not to call you 'minion', in public.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Month of Standing

So, the first week my knees and back hurt like b'jesus. I mean seriously, b'jesus. I thought I'd made a serious mistake. Then it got better.

There's a bit of a trick to standing for 2-3 hours at a time, and that's to not really stand. I think I was taking it too seriously. Lean, stand on one leg, dance a little, or a lot, stretch, loosen up and be less formal about it all. Cutting in an hour a day seated laptop work in the lounge also helps. It's not supposed to be a trial of Hercules.

Now, I'm loving it. Stage 2 is definitely go once finances permit. 12 miles around Mam Tor at the weekend (in the rain, may I add) proved I can still put one foot in front of the other for a few hours on the trot. Lets see where this goes.