AltBritain Update: Need More Engagement on Facebook

Facebook

Our Facebook likes have actually decreased this week, so we’ll have to work harder to find new likers (and keep them). Over 60% of our website clicks are from Facebook so I think it’s important to grow our likes and engagement on our Facebook page.

Twitter and Instagram

Our Twitter and Instagram likes are up. Though, it does seem to be a lot easier to grow a following on Twitter and Instagram.

On average, just over 30% of our clicks to the website come from Twitter, so we need to keep up the good work on that platform.

The problem is that Instagram may be popular, and we are getting a lot of likes, but we aren’t getting any clicks to the website. This is mainly because you can’t post links in posts on Instagram. Followers have to go to the actual profile page.

Encouraging Engagement

Last week we had a guest speaker, Laura Hogan from Rice Media, who spoke to us about SEO optimisation and encouraging engagement. She told us about creating sharable content using canva.com. Below is an example of how she used it for one of her clients.

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One of my fellow Social Media MA students did her own experiment using two Facebook pages she is managing. You can read more about that here. From her results, it seems that using this kind of sharable content is a very successful way to grow engagement on Facebook.

My Own Experiment

I created this using Canva.com. As Walking Dead is popular at the moment, I am hoping that it will create some engagement on the Facebook page. Then, if it is beneficial to the page I may experiment with boosting the post. I have never paid to boost a post on Facebook so it will be interesting to see how well targeted promotion works.

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An Afterthought…

I have been trying to connect with ‘alternative fashion’ pages on Facebook. Our website is lacking in fashion posts, which isn’t exactly encouraging for them. So this week I am going to write a couple of fashion posts to try to encourage new likers.

AltBritain Update

This week we have been trying to build engagement on our social media pages. I focused on Facebook, sharing links to our website as well as posts from other Facebook pages. I’ve been experimenting with scheduling posts at different times and looking for pages a with similar audience to ours.

Here are my findings:

  • The views on the page have decreased as the post reach has increased. This means people are seeing our posts without having to click on the actual page – which can only be a good thing.
  • The posts with the highest reach was posted at 17:28 on the 8th Feb – It’s reach was more than double the next highest. I’m not sure if this is due to the content or the timing. So I plan to schedule a different type post for around the same time this week to find this out.
  • A meme I created using a picture from one of our articles had a  pretty good reach, as well as a gif. relating to another post. So it seems that pictures with captions are more popular than others.
  • Posts that are slightly more serious (but still ‘alternative’) seem to be popular so we need to look for more , so we need to look for more ‘newsy’ articles to share/post.

Task for this week: Our likes on Facebook are not increasing very fast so we need to find a way to keep people on the page long enough for them to like it.

A New Project: Alternative Britain

With my Social Media MA group, I am currently working on the website – AlternativeBritian.com. Basically, we were given the URL by Dave (our tutor) and told to run with it.

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(Created by Luca)

What is Alternative Britain?

We decided to turn the website into a place where you can find articles on culture, lifestyle, places and politics. I personally wanted to ignore politics. but I guess that it’s unavoidable given the current state of our world.

I’m planning to focus on fashion and interesting places to go. This is my first article – 5 Alternative Places to Stay on Valentine’s Day

How is it going?

I have to say we’ve had quite a wobbly start, possibly a case of too many cooks not enough communication? But I’ve learned that spreadsheets are my best friend. We have so many spreadsheets for passwords, topics, scheduling, goals, analytics, etc. I recommend that anyone who has any kind of project keeps a note of EVERYTHING, especially if there are a lot of you.

During the first week we focused on getting the website set up, creating the social media pages, and posting the first few articles. From our first observation we found that our social media pages were not very interactive and there wasn’t much interest in them.

This Week’s Plan

  • Each social media page manned daily by an individual to build likes/interactions
  • Article postings on website scheduled so they are spaced out
  • Articles shared throughout the week
  • Website/social media pages colour scheme needs to be matched

Social Media Practice: Periscope

Before there was Facebook, there was MySpace. We used to feel comfortable on one platform, then when it became obsolete we moved onto the next. Now there are new social media platforms being created all the time – Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn – and it’s normal to be on multiple platforms. This week I’ve been looking at a new social media platform (well new for me anyways) – Periscope.

Periscope

“Periscope was founded on the belief that live video is a powerful source of truth and connects us in an authentic way with the world around us. We are fascinated by the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s eyes. What’s it like to see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia?

“While there are many ways to discover events, movements and places, we realized there is no better way to experience something than through live video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video lets us explore the world together.” (Periscope, 2016)

Basically, it is a platform where you can create your own channel to live stream videos. I haven’t had much of a chance to play around with it yet as I’ve mainly been looking at channels created by others.

It’s going to be a great platform for the live streaming of events and news. At the moment it seems to be mainly full of people live streaming their travels. I may try to introduce it to some of my crafting friends because I think it’ll be good for them to show their work-in-progress or how-to videos.

Also, as Periscope was bought by Twitter shortly before it was launched, you can connect the two…

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Periscope (2016) Available at: https://www.periscope.tv/about (Accessed: 30 January 2017).

New Year’s Resolutions

I haven’t posted for a while because that’s generally how my blogging life is really.. erratic. I was busy trying to figure out what my lecturers wanted from me, then I got ill. Oh how I hate being ill.

Anyway, I’m better in time for New Year.. and just in time to panic about my assignments. So instead of working I’ve decided to write my list of New Year’s Resolutions before I start at my day job for the last time this year.

I hate the whole “new year new me” thing. If you’re doing that every year you’re the same moron you were last year… and all the other years.

My list is more of a to do list.. to continue on things I’ve already been improving this year.

  1. Get fit and healthy – Tonsillitis kicked my butt over Christmas. I had been doing pretty well at building up my immune system. But obviously some germs got in. So time to start again.. which brings me on to…
  2. Make a home-cooked meal at least once a week – I started doing this earlier in the year. But it trailed off as it got closer to Christmas. So my next step is to find more recipes that I can convince my boyfriend to eat.
  3. Set my career plans in motion – By May I will be done with half of my University course. That means no more lectures. So, even though I will be concentrating on my Dissertation, I’ll have the time to get more experience in social media, while building up my freelance writing. My plan is social media desk job + freelance writer. After looking into going freelance as a social media consultant, a job in an established company seems to be a  better option.
  4. Save money to move out – Next year, if all goes to plan, I will actually be working enough (that’s paid working) to afford to move out. So before iI splash out on shoes and Costa’s, I have to start saving.
  5. Have a nice holiday (hot hot hot)- This completely goes against the last one. But all work and no play…

You may have noticed that passing my driving test isn’t on this list.. or you’ve never read my blog before and you don’t care. Either way, I’m not pressuring myself into something that stresses me out that much. When I feel like I can have another go I will. Until then, a few more train and bus rides will build character… I guess.

Have a lovely New Year guys. See you on the other side!

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Want a Reaction? Complain on Twitter

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A few years ago I tweeted about walking out of a shop disgust after watching two of the world’s worst sales assistants laughing at a customer from afar (You can read the original blog post here). Very quickly I received reply from the shop’s Twitter account, which resulted in them sending me an email apologising and saying what they would be doing to put it right.

Which leads me to question, are big companies really paying attention to their social media? Do they have staff scouring Twitter for complaints or anything that could defame their brand? Or do they just leave automated robots to send out generic tweets?

Stefan Stieglitz and Nina Krüger, professors in social media and psychology, believe that companies are paying attention to their social media. They note that enterprises have noticed that just having a standalone website is not enough. Companies need to interact with their customers more directly to successfully follow trends and identify new markets.

Stieglitz and Krüger discuss this in their chapter in Twitter and Society: an introduction, stating, “Communication data in public social media can be understood as a rich source of information that can be utilised by enterprises. Additionally, enterprises are also able to interact directly and publicly with their target groups.” (Stieglitz and Krüger, 2014, p.281)

But social media can be tricky to navigate. As social media platforms expand, and new ones are created, it becomes increasingly difficult for companies to protect their reputation online. “Enterprises face the challenge, for example, of having to identify relevant pieces of communication, of having to react appropriately to messages from customers, or of being suddenly affected by negative feedback, or even by social media “shitstorms” (social crises).” (Stieglitz and Krüger, 2014, p.281)

Even in 2013, the company I tweeted reacted to my complaint almost immediately. It was obvious that they had some sort of complaints procedure put in place. According to Stieglitz and Krüger, “larger enterprises have established well-directed issue management processes in order to monitor or even influence public opinion about their products, services, and reputation.” (Stieglitz and Krüger, 2014, p.284)

If I had emailed the company instead of tweeting about them, would they have reacted so quickly? A carefully written tweet sent out to the whole world is much more dangerous than a direct email. This is likely why unhappy customers are taking to social media to complain.

“Determining the appropriate reaction to issues in social media is difficult, since, for the most part, best practices have not yet been established. Additionally, it has to be considered that crisis situations usually have a unique character which makes it difficult to elaborate a structured management process.” (Stieglitz and Krüger, 2014, p.286)

This is very important for me to consider as I’m in the process of setting myself up as a social media consultant. It’s hard to know what advice to give to smaller companies and freelancers who could easier be ruined by just one bad comment.

A quick reaction seems to the best option, but there needs to be a balance between apologising to customers and accepting fault when there was none. I know of many sole traders in the ‘handmade’ market who have given refunds to avoid bad press they just can’t afford. These are the people who need help, and who should be look at larger companies who are taking the lead on social media.

Stieglitz, S & Krüger, N. 2014. Public Enterprise-Related Communication and Its Impact on Social Media Issue Management. In: Bruns, A. et al. eds. Twitter and Society. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.