Screaming above the White Noise

(Note: this is a blog post I wrote a few weeks back, but the WordPress app decided to lose it entirely! Still, I wanted to get these thoughts out here.)

Recently, I posted the below on Twitter, referencing this particular article about Twitter bots.

Now, not all bots are bad, many were created for very good, or at least harmless reasons, for example, I follow a bot that tweets a graph of local river levels every few hours, and another that generates fictional museum exhibition names.

However, if when such a high number of accounts are bots, it starts to make the entire site useless. As the original article states, it makes Twitter engagement analytics pointless- how can you prove a real human being liked or retweeted your tweets? How can you prove growth? There are research issues to consider to – at University I did quite a bit of work on mapping Twitter connections – this was in the earlier days of academic research on social media and Twitter was quite a different beast then. Connection-mapping techniques would produce seriously flawed data in today’s Twittersphere, when mindless machine accounts are linking ‘real’ accounts up. Either Twitter, or research techniques, will have to change at a fundamental level.


Google for Business Notes

What I’ve been up to for the past few weeks…

So off the back of my last Future Learn course on Digital Analysis, I’ve started a new similar one, though it mostly goes over material that I’ve done before as in the Learning Online course, so this time I’m not going to put notes online for it.

However, I have been taking some time to watch some new Google for Business videos on YouTube, and I have a bunch of notes from the one below which that I wanted to get up here.

Google search – Making use of all your business tools

As a business, you should aim to be found locally. Optimise for mobile – 80% of all Google searches are on mobile and is no divide by age etc. anymore. Everyone is using mobile.

  • Your site needs to be speedy. Searches need to be quick paced or you will lose people mid-search.
  • Check your keywords – are you set up to be easily found.

People like to buy from/work with local businesses and this is why ‘Google my Business’ is really important as it shows you on maps and on reviews which really affects how people find you.

  • Google posts put direct info to customers
  • People live online and need live updates
  • This also improves your organic search

You will need to verify and take control of your listings

  • It’s better for you, better for customers, better for Google too
  • Ensure it suits your brand and is consistent with your tone of voice
  • Original content in your Google listings will help with all this

Put the most important info first on your site – think hard about heading and title.

  • Small image files for quick load times!!

Vision, Purpose, Value, Passion

Are these four things communicated in your site?

Remember who your target audience is, how will they search your site?

Important details for a mobile site

  • Small dropdown
  • Big buttons
  • Easy search system – make it clear and simple
  • Form filling out needs to be simple and easy on a small screen
  • Test your site for speed




Future Learn Digital Analysis Notes for Week Two

This was only a two week short course, but the same provider is running a number of other free courses via Future Learn that I will be looking at! Though I only ended up writing a small amount of notes, it was still a great, quick way to keep myself refreshed on marketing and research techniques, some of which I might need to use in my job very soon.

Week two: Segmentation

This is splitting your followers into groups according to their behaviours and preferences in order to market the right products to them.

In order to build these segments and to analyse whether they are working for you, you have to build context into your data, by creating both internal and external benchmarks, so you can compare your current success both to previous data and to the success other your competitors.

  • Missions statements, a successful company generally has a customer-oriented one
  • A strategy should be focussed on the specifics of the business and what makes it unique
  • KPIs need to be tangible measurements and numbers, relevant to your strategy
  • Once you know how a customer came to your company (via an offer, website etc) you can start to build a profile and segment your demographics

There will always be challenges in acquiring data – some of it may be incomplete or wrong, so try to focus on the overall pattern and what it tells you.

LinkedIn’s Big Moment, plus Hashtags

So this is a post I started writing a week or so ago, before I went away. Therefore the bit about Hootchat is a little old by tweet standards, but the content is still relevant!

Over the last few months, I’ve been making an effort to follow Hootsuite’s #Hootchat conversations on Twitter – sadly the time zone differences mean it’s difficult for me to join in live!

Some days back, I found the below question popping up on my feed, and a number of the answers were pretty interesting.

Although LinkedIn has always been around, occupying that professional  networking niche (the one that Google+ tried and failed to capitalise on) it appears that as a new digital generation has matured, it has become more and more relevant, whilst Twitter and Facebook have begun to fall by the wayside.

In other news, I’m enjoying an accidental hashtag mix-up on my Twitter feed; one which proves you should always check how a hashtag is used (and if it is a year-related hashtag, check it with the previous year in to see what might be around.) Otherwise, you might end up in the same position as the International Communications Association, whose choice of #ica18 for their conference is causing some confusion when that hashtag is dominated by potential entrants for the 2018 International Cheese Awards…

Blaugust Day 29: Pinterest For Business Notes Part Three

This is the final pre-written and scheduled post of Blaugust. Tomorrow afternoon I will be back on dry land, and hopefully able to start writing ‘live’ again. This is also the second to last part of the notes from my Highbrow course on Pinterest for Business. There are still a quite a few emails left to come through, so I will summarise them either as one of the very final posts of Blaugust, or I’ll leave it until September.

Image from

Image Notes

The course had already talked about making images Pinterest friendly in size etc. It didn’t go into much more details than that, but I did find a ‘Pinterest Cheat Sheet’ elsewhere which gives all of the best image sizes in pixel sizing – it’s a really great, clear resource.

Encouraging People to use Pinterest from your own site

  • Make sure that you have plugins installed on your own website to give you the ‘pin it’ button so that people can put content from your website/blog on their own pinterest boards themselves.
  • There are also some free plugins that will ensure that the right description (with the copy that you want people to see) will pull through to Pinterest when people pin your stuff.

The course then recommend using group boards to get your content out in front of people quickly and grow your following (kind of like jumping on a hashtag in Twitter, but much more closely connected.)


Blaugust Day 24: Email Marketing Notes Part Three

This is the end of this particular Highbrow course (part one and part two can be found here and here.) After I did the second blog, I needed to write a little more and make this the first pre-written, scheduled post to cover my time away from 24-30 August. So, the next few posts will also be pre-written, and I’ll be back on the evening of 30 Aug with a topic written that day. 
So onto the notes!

Email Personalisation 

Personalising your email is great, but this goes beyond just putting people’s names in the ‘Dear so-and-so’ bit – although you should absolutely be doing that!

Testing has shown that using the name of a person instead of just using the company name hugely improve open rates, though success can depend on the company and it may be be something to A/B test.

Goals and Analysis

It’s important to constantly look at how your emails are doing – and not just the positive metrics like open and click-through rate. Bounce rates will give you an idea of whether or not the email info in your database is still good, and unsubscribe will tell you if you are keeping a regular readership, or if people are giving up on you quickly.

Blaugust Day 11 – Links Round-up and Thoughts

For today’s post, I had a bunch of a interesting links, but I didn’t think that I had enough thoughts on each one to create an entire post around it. So here’s two different interesting stories with my own annotations.

(Image from

I’ve been using SoundCloud a lot more lately, particularly for listening to podcasts since my phone decided to start having problems with downloading them. I’ll admit, I personally don’t use it as a site for new music in the way that I do with Spotify – another site that struggled with profitability at first and only started to think about profitability late last year. However, most of my music friends have used it as an online portfolio – as did I as a music student. We use SoundCloud extensively at work for musical clips to advertise concerts and event to a potential audience – it makes for great content. It’s a fantastic site and I’ve glad that investors have stepped in to help it continue, but despite the obscene amount of wealth in the tech start-up industry, they can’t keep doing that forever The problem is that the free version of SoundCloud is almost too good. There isn’t enough incentive for most people to pay them, and asking users to pay for previously free content can be an issue. It’s a tricky situation and one that I hope they can find a way through, as SoundCloud is too good a platform to lose.

I’ve got less to say about this link but I did want to highlight it here, because it suggests that video streaming has hit a similar point to where audio streaming was ten years ago, when laws finally started to come in regarding how streaming could be used streaming technology had progressed to the point where lots of companies could create their own proprietary platforms. It didn’t work for music companies and it likely won’t work for video companies, so it may present a crossroads for the industry as a whole.