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Social Media Advice

A while ago I gave a talk about social media and how to use it well. I intended to write up my notes afterwards into an amazing, comprehensive blog post.

But I still  have not got round to it, and now concede that I probably never will.

So here are my notes. I hope you might be able to take some useful stuff from my brain dump. (Though I say so myself, it was a blooming good talk.)


  • Establish authority in niche

  • Help others

  • Your personal aim…?


  • What is your brand? Elevator pitch 1-sentence summary. (Compare your opinion with Google – search for yourself)

  • What is your authority? (What do you know more about than anyone in this room?)

  • Who are your current clients? What pays the bills?

  • What is your dream client audience?

  • For this do you need a large audience, a specialist audience, or a more-engaged audience? (1000 True fans is essential reading.)

  • What 3 things do you need people to know about what you do?


  • Bare essential is to have a home page – $5./mo. Cover page.

  • Look at your website on a computer and on a phone. Is it mobile optimised?
  • What is the aim of the site? Three things max

  • Today – not relying on SEO to bring you traffic – relying on social media

  • Build email newsletter – subscribe box. Popup on screen. Link in email footer. Start today.

  • Do you want to blog? Nothing = better than intermittent. Social media does the job for many these days.

  • Email signature – call to action


  • Useful for everyone (presidents to pop stars) – If only for people Googling you, Contacting you

  • Amuse / Entertain / Inform / Help people / Conversation / Self promote – Useful to remember

  • Imagine you are at a large and noisy dinner party. You need to talk a bit, be interesting. You also need to listen, answer questions. Be helpful. Entertain and inform.

  • What is your brand? Is this personal or work? (My online persona diff to my ‘real one’, but it’s still ‘true’)

  • Let your personal voice come through – even for brands. Better than bland ‘brand speak’.

  • What is your message? Stay on message (My struggle here is between ‘adventure’, ‘motivation’ and ‘creativity’.) Repeat, repeat.

  • What niche do you occupy?

  • Pinned Tweet – useful

  • Biography, portrait, cover all useful and important. Include link. Check on mobile and desktop. Colour scheme (Mano)

  • Authority:

  • Teach people.

  • Be a hub of content – share good stuff (Buffer perfect for this)

  • Answer people’s questions (both your ‘fans’ and the ‘experts’) [. before @name]

  • Ask questions (“how can I help you ?” – people like this.)

  • Engage:

  • Who are the key people in your niche? Answer their questions, comment on their stuff. Comment and show them your own stuff. (Like being at school – jostling in playground.)

  • @reply to people who ask you questions, especially if the questions are good, or the person is important, or if they love you (1000 True Fans).

  • Content:

  • What does a good Tweet look like?

  • What is the point of your Tweet?

  • Better to say nothing than be boring.

  • Photos are key.

  • Make them Shareable. (This is how your audience grows)

  • Calls to action. Use sparingly. Crucial (using up your ‘capital’).

  • Amuse / Entertain / Inform / Help people / Conversation / Self promote. (The right aim, the right ratio. 1:6)

  • Ideas for content:

  • Cool stuff you’ve been doing (user response = envy, aspiration, trust, credibility, interesting)

  • Trickle of archive content

  • Theme of the Day / Week (bothys / books)

  • Behind the scenes. Preparation, equipment

  • Human stories

  • Top Tips

  • Quotes / Wisdom

  • Self promote sparingly (build up / use up goodwill)

  • Ads – haven’t really felt benefits

  • Hashtags

  • Exposes you to new people

  • Keeping track of conversations

  • Look at Tagboard
  • Etiquette:

  • Don’t brag with RTs (“Just met @al_humphreys – he is amazing and sexy.”)

  • Follow <0.5 of Followers #

  • How often per day? You must notice people who post too often. (Who? How often? Why annoying?) You won’t notice people who post too infrequently.

  • Spread out use / RT sparingly / Buffer

  • Lists

  • friends, best in your niche you want to engage with

  • Search for yourself


  • Amuse / Entertain / Inform / Self promote.

  • Ideally different content to Twitter. The audience and the engagement is very different. Ask more questions.
  • Not good for sharing links / enticing people away to other sites

  • Loyal audience, high engagement within the site

  • Biography, portrait, cover all useful and important. Include link. Check on mobile and desktop, About section, Call to Action. Call to action buttons.

  • Facebook algorithms.

  • Boost posts – target audience. Essential.

  • Power of visual content. Video even more strong.

  • Write like blog posts – stories, lessons, how-to’s

  • Shareable

  • Video must be native

  • Page not Profile after 5000 followers – separate early your private and your ‘brand’ life

  • Pinned Post

  • Buy Fans – authority

  • Branded message not personal stuff. But let your personal voice come through. Better than bland ‘brand speak’.

  • Scheduling posts is handy
  • Advertising your posts (boost) is crucial


  • Try to have same @name as on Twitter

  • Vertical engagement – difficulty of growing audience

  • I can’t be bothered with ‘stories’ but they are very popular and get good engagement
  • Heart = vanity. No sharing (except naming in comments)

  • Hashtags therefore important. Be specific and relevant. #fun #pointless vs #bristol #interiordesign

  • Really popular hashtags you get lost with

  • Pics need to be bright and bold to grab attention.
  • Video is powerful
  • Biography, portrait, cover all useful and important. Include link. Check on mobile and desktop

  • Links in posts do not work – entice them to find out more about you

  • Engaging with key people important, but difficult

  • Telling story, building brand

  • Let your personal voice come through. Better than bland ‘brand speak’.

  • Behind the scenes is good

  • Kit layout pics

  • #throwbackthursday #tbt

  • Instagram great for non-current archive posts

  • Hard to use on computer

  • Click on ‘Following’ ‘Activity’ to find new stuff

  • Contests

  • Easy way to get content on to lots of sites

  • Filters / Edit tools / Snapseed / VSCO

  • 1 second to grab interest – what stands out?

  • VLOG option

  • Photo map


  • ‘Later’ is a useful app for scheduling Instagram


  • Long term – not fleeting. Massive benefit. Content has long shelf life.

  • Establish authority

  • Build Brand

  • Useful for Google SEO

  • Browser extension

  • Share on other media

  • Add a Pin It button to your blog

  • Find your competitors. Follow their followers.

  • Build up content. Quality descriptions

  • Join Group boards

  • ‘Rich Pins’

  • Repin other content from experts in your niche


  • Increase your visibility – adding connections, you increase likelihood

  • Connect to your past – businesses, university etc.

  • Tentacles across the internet (like commenting everywhere)

  • Snooping into the lives of people you’re about to chat to (Googling them before meetings)

  • ‘About’ section – make it strong, honest, true

  • Think of your ‘image’ – choose photo carefully

  • Join ‘Groups’. Participate! Search at top of page.

  • See who’s viewed your profile

  • Link to Buffer

  • (quality > quantity) (Connection > Collection). Temptation! Rush = disaster (v diff to Facebook etc)

  • Help others

  • Sharing updates just like all the other sites

  • Don’t try to be an ‘expert’ at everything. Pick 3 skills that you want people to endorse.

  • Accept everyone’s request, but only seek out good ones.


  • Buffer

  • Later

  • (Loads of others – eg Tweetdeck /  Hootsuite.)




  • Reply to comments on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter

  • Retweet a few things on Twitter – build up authority, engage with experts

  • Add links to Buffer

  • Answer questions – be an expert

  • Themes for posting (Monday – photo; Tuesday – show how to do something; Thurs – #tbt)

  • Create new content specific for each site.
  • 10 mins a week – Instagram pic that goes to every other site. Reply to a few comments
  • 30 min / week – all above, plus buffer, plus do some Retweeting
  • 10 min / day – above, plus separate content on each site
  • 30 min / day – above, plus take time to engage with experts, and actively help people in your niche
  • 1 hour / day – making new, expert content, build up email list, schedule old content to be re-used


What is your USP? (Niche)

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