Social Media

Quick Twitter Bio Tip: Utilise Returns for a Better Layout

Twitter bird imageTwitter addict? Personal branding important to you? Then this might be of interest…

I made a cool discovery the other day. You can use returns in your Twitter bio, which some third-party apps will honour. While it’ll look exactly the same in Twitter itself (as if it’s ignored it) and therefore seem like a completely pointless exercise, other apps show them, which means that you can spread out your Twitter bio across multiple separate lines.

This is especially handy for me as my Twitter bio looks a little messy because it contains a lot of brief one-liners with @mentions:

Twitter profile with no returns screenshot
In its default form it looks a little higgledy-piggledy, especially on Tweetbot for iPhone:

Tweetbot (iPhone) bio, no returns screenshot
As you can see, it looks like I talk about being a freelance SEO consultant, then something about MOM and Welsh ICE, and then I’m a member of something, and then State of Digital… You get the idea. It feels a little disjointed and hard to read, as the parts that are connected are on separate lines from one another.

Enter the ‘Enter’ key

But fear not, my friend, for you can add enters/returns to the bio of Twitter. Go to your Twitter profile, hit ‘Edit profile’ on the right, make your edits in the box on the left, hit the ‘Save changes’ button on the right, and you’re done. Nice n’ easy, no?

(Pro tip: I suggest using an enter and a space each time, just in case places that don’t honour it don’t show a space after the full-stops, therefore looking like this: “@Welsh_ICE member.@stateofdigital…”)

Click to read more!

Why Radiohead’s Marketing Campaign for the New Album is Pretty Genius

I just wanted to type up a quick post talking about what Radiohead have been doing recently to promote their new album – A Moon Shaped Pool – and why it’s awesome. I’m not even a massive Radiohead fan (don’t get me wrong, I like their albums, but they’re not one of my favourite bands), but even so, you can’t help but admire their marketing approach. There’s two sides to it that I want to talk about: going against the social media grain, and not making the album easily accessible…

The social media disappearance

I didn’t even realise that Radiohead were releasing a new album until a couple of weeks ago when half my Twitter feed shared articles about Radiohead’s social media disappearance, i.e. keeping their profiles/pages but deleting all old tweets and status updates.

Radiohead on the Guardian screenshot
At first, I think a lot of people thought “what the hell are Radiohead doing?”, like it was a bad thing to do, because it goes against the typical social media way of thinking – the fact that you should use those channels to talk about yourselves, not simply be mute. But that’s exactly why it was such a smart thing to do. Everyone talked about it. EveryoneThe Guardian. Vanity Fair. Pitchfork. NME. Mirror Online. The Telegraph. The Independent. Mail Online.* Mashable. Fortune. ITV News. Daily Star. The Huffington Post. I could go on…

* …Who I’m not going to link to, because… it’s Mail Online. I mean c’mon… this blog publishes some really stupid stuff, but I’ve gotta have some standards…

Then, a few days later, a whole bunch of the biggest news publishers in the world wrote about them again, when Radiohead broke their social media ‘silence’ by releasing one of the songs.

From what I could see it was one of the most talked about, widely reported – and therefore highly anticipated – album releases I’ve seen this year so far.

Click to read more!

Online Influence (Oi) Conference 2016 (#OiConf)

Oi Conference 2016
Yesterday (21st April 2016) I spent the day at Online Influence (Oi) Conference 2016 (@OiConf / #OiConf) in Cardiff, with Oi and Freshwater UK sorting me out with a blogger pass (thanks guys)! While most people call it a social media conference (and social media marketing is a big part of it), it covers a range of digital marketing elements, including video, content and user behaviour. Even SEO got a mention or two. 🙂

I have a confession to make though: I went last year, but had a bad experience. I think it was rotten luck… While the kick-off keynote was fantastic, I went to a few bad talks (speakers arguing, tech problems, sales pitches, etc.), lunch was a disaster (I couldn’t eat what was on offer due to food allergies), and there was of course the infamous #panelgate, when the awesome Miranda Bishop (@Miranda_Bishop) challenged – and subsequently joined(!) – the all-male panel at the end of the day.

This year though? Much, much better. The calibre of talks was high, and I took a lot away from them – I’d say that each talk gave me at least one or two holy-crap-I-didn’t-think-of-that takeaways that are useful to me.

Here are the talks that I went to, along with the main takeaways I took from them:

Leaping out of the feed (or don’t let your content be an octopus)

Simon Low, BuzzFeedSimon Low, BuzzFeed

The opening keynote was from Simon Low of BuzzFeed. Now I’m not a big fan of BuzzFeed, but 6 billion monthly visits?! You can’t argue with that.

Fair play, it was a cracking talk – a great way to start the day. Some standout make-you-think takeaways for me:

  • Traditionally, most content creators pour their heart and soul into creating great content but make little effort to promote it – Simon argued that it’s a 90/10 split. BuzzFeed however spend 50% of their time creating their content and 50% promoting it. They realise that great content doesn’t just get ‘found’, and that you have to put the effort in.
  • They also take the time to translate stories into multiple languages, which helps to spread their reach further.
  • During the Q&A, someone asked about the times when things don’t go well when BuzzFeed work with brands. Simon replied by saying that the more that the brand is courageous (and that they don’t ‘sanetise’ what BuzzFeed are doing), the higher the chance of success.

SxSW ’17: why you need to go and how to validate the cost

Gabby Shaw, ADLIBGabby Shaw, ADLIB Recruitment

I was interested in the Meltwater talk (“Digital influence: 4 steps towards getting it, guiding it and growing it”), which was taking place at the same time, but a little bird told me that all the Track A (main hall) talks were being filmed and uploaded online at a later date, so I decided to be strategic and visit other talks in other rooms. That said, I’ve always had an interest in going to SxSW, as I know a few people who have gone over the years.

Gabby talked about the benefits of going, but also made it clear that it can be a costly affair – not just the ‘hard’ costs (plane ticket, accommodation, etc.) but also the ‘soft’ costs, which people often forget about (time out of the office, less chance to liaise with colleagues and clients, etc.).

Click to read more!

3 Reasons Why I Might Not Share Your Roundup (Even If I’m Included in It)

Over the years I’ve participated in a few roundups (a.k.a. crowdsourced content) – sometimes via HARO, sometimes by being approached directly by email. Whenever the latter happens, I’m always chuffed that someone’s asked me and wants me to get involved with what they’re putting together. However, a few recent roundup experiences have left me a little… unhappy. I know that sounds harsh, perhaps even ungrateful, but there’s been a few bugbears with them that I’d like to share, so that other roundup rounder-uppers can avoid them if they can. I don’t know about you, but if I’m included in a roundup that fits one of these three criteria, it’s unlikely that I’ll promote it on your behalf (sorry)…

1) There’s too many people in it

Crowd imageI get the appeal of roundups, on both sides. The contributor gets a link to their site. The ‘host’ (for lack of a better word) not only gets content written for them, but the contributors are likely to share it and promote it on their behalf. If 5 people are included, that’s 5 potential tweets/RTs. If 50 people are included… well, you get it.

I was recently part of a roundup that included over 100 contributors – so many, in fact, that while there’s a pic of a bunch of the contributors, I’m not even one of them, hah! I’m sorry but that’s just too big a number to even be readable – either people will glance through it and/or read the first few, or they’ll simply look for people that they know and only take their contributions on board.

2) There’s no women in it

Graffiti imageAs a young, white, middle-class male, I feel like a complete jerk for even bringing it up – but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t. Rand Fishkin (@randfish) shares this way of thinking and is a good person to follow on the subject in our industry.

A recent roundup that I was involved in contained about 12 people – a nice, decent number. The only problem? There were 12 men (including me) and 0 women. I didn’t share/tweet/RT it – I was too ashamed to.

The same also applies to ethnic minorities. No one likes an all-white, all-male list. Not even white males.

Click to read more!

Username Taken? Alternatives to the Dreaded “1” at the End

Recently I fell in love with an Irish folk band called The Gloaming. I later found their Twitter profile, and quietly cringed when I saw their handle: @TheGloaming1

@TheGloaming1 Twitter screenshot
@thegloaming is already taken by a Taiwanese lady who tweeted three times in 2011, never to tweet again (as I type this). Claiming inactive Twitter accounts is a whole other kettle of fish that I won’t be covering today – that’s not the purpose of this post. What I wanted to talk about instead is what The Gloaming could’ve done instead of simply sticking a “1” at the end of their username, which looks really, really outdated and technologically naïve…

If you have a business/startup name that’s already been taken on Twitter (or perhaps the .com TLD as well/instead) and you don’t fit the criteria of Twitter’s inactive account policy to claim it, hopefully some of these suggestions will help you out.

Alternatives to “TheGloaming1”

“TheGloaming” is 11 characters long (without quotes), and Twitter’s username character limit is 15 characters. So they have an extra 4 characters to play around with. They could consider dropping the “The” and/or chopping part of it (e.g. “TheGloaminMusic” is 15 characters, but removing the “g” at the end of “Gloaming” looks naff IMO), but I think it’d look best if they keep the “TheGloaming” element pretty much untouched and simply add words/initials around it. Such as:

  • Reference of band/music – e.g. @TheGloamingBand
  • Genre – e.g. @TheGloamingFolk
  • Country (initials) – e.g. @TheGloamingIE

Click to read more!