Monday, 28 November 2011

What’s in a bio?

This small piece of information (160 characters on twitter) about you or your company can make a big difference to your profile and the number of your followers.
If you are looking to increase your followers they need to know who you are and what your tweets will be about. If your bio is not descriptive it will put people off following you. Focus on the key words relating to your industry and incorporate these into your bio, this will also help with the SEO angle of your profile.
Personally I want to know what you do, your area of expertise and where you are based. Make sure that you have your web address on there too, as many people using twitter are looking for a service and the more information that is available at their finger tips, the better your chances are at securing a new client.
Why not test this theory and let me know how you get on, there are many statistics out there that demonstrate that having a complete bio will help to increase your following.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Where’s the map?

Would you set out on a new journey without checking the map?
How would you know where you are going?
If you want to establish yourself in the world of social media you really need to have a plan.
Who are your target market? Will you find them on social media? Do you need to use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube? What do you want to say to them? How often do you plan to post?
So many questions, you really need a plan. A simple document, outlining a few details will help you stay on track and raise your profile.
Monday – Look for new people to follow. Comment on posts and respond.
Tuesday – Upload an image/video linking to business activity. Comment on posts and respond.
Wednesday – Look for questions to answer. Comment on posts.
Thursday – Comment on posts. Link to topical articles on the web.
Friday – #FF one or two trusted connections. Comment on posts. Close the week with a link to a blog post or to your website, this way if anyone looks you up over the weekend they are directed back to your own material for more information.
It really can be that simple. Give it a try you might just find you are much more productive once you have a plan to stick to.
Let us know how you get on and if you don't have the time then contact us and we can do it for you. @mooddesign

Monday, 10 October 2011

Are you an egg?

Do I really want to work with people who can’t be bothered to represent themselves properly?

Would you go to a networking event and wear a paper bag on your head?

Why do so many twitter users still use an egg as their avatar?

Your logo is slightly better but really I want to see who I’m talking to, this way when I get to meet you I have some idea of who I am talking to.

A photograph makes people more willing to communicate with you and it makes your communication more personal. Give it a go, you will find it easier to get more followers and to get others to join in your conversations.

It can also be an ice-breaker at networking events when you meet a follower or connection in person.

We look forward to seeing you.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Do you automate?

The thing about social media is that it is social. It’s about people communicating with other people, and for that reason alone you should not automate your communications.

I understand that you may want to thank people for following you and not have the time due to quantities, and in this instance it can be acceptable. However, if you schedule all of your updates, and then you are not online to respond to feedback, people will stop responding.

If I post a question I usually need an answer, those who respond in a timely manner with correct information are valuable connections to have, and those who don’t become less valuable to my network.

I always thank people who respond to my requests, an acknowledgement can go a long way, a timely acknowledgement goes a bit further.

It is impossible to automate your accounts completely, if you don’t have time to manage them then you need to employ a social media account manager, otherwise you may find that you are doing more damage than good to your online reputation.

For more information on social media account management call one of our team on 01925 752500.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Do you really want your post to be retweeted...

To ensure that others can retweet your post easily it needs to be a maximum of 110 characters. This allows others to acknowledge you as the originator.

Any tweets that are longer than this will be cut short in your followers timelines and they will need to click through to read the complete message.

Sometimes less is really more!

If you would like to follow my tweets you can @mooddesign.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

So what is there to unlike?

Unlike or unfollow, what does it mean?
It usually means that you are doing something wrong. It may not be your content, it could be frequency (too little as well as too much). Each of your followers will have different reasons for following you and it’s hard to keep them all happy.
It is OK to unfollow people. Those who list all of the accounts that unfollow them will soon find that they have very few followers left, this is a bit like shouting at someone in the street - rude and unnecessary.
My main reasons for unfollowing accounts are – too many posts that are irrelevant to my interests, too much shouting about a product or service and not joining in the conversation.  Only 30% of your tweets should be sales related, the remaining should be conversational or informative
Twitter is about building a network, I follow clients, peers, competitors, experts etc. I like to see how people respond to my posts and I try and respond to everyone who communicates with me. I thank those who retweet my messages, I reply to those who ask me questions, I give my opinions when I feel  they are relevant.
I do not try and sell my services in a direct manner, I will talk about work related skills in blog posts (just like this one) but what I am doing is trying to share some of my knowledge to help others gain some trust in my skills. At some point in the future if they need some social media training or a design campaign running then hopefully they will remember the pearls of wisdom that I have shared and pick up the phone and call me.

Friday, 1 July 2011

What type of social networker are you?

Social networking should be all about building relationships (I wish everyone understood that) with the commerce coming second. To be successful you cannot just shout about what you have to offer, you need to share knowledge and build trust - something that will not happen overnight.  It’s about people and the purpose, not just the tools.
You must be prepared to accept criticism in a positive way, ask how things can be improved, if you can’t do this then maybe social media is not for you.
Social media users come in a variety of forms, some are observers (about 90%) while others are activators. Which social media species are you and which do you want to attract?
Social sloth: Have nothing to do with social networking.
Media meerkat: Will read blogs, watch video, read reviews but not contribute.
Anxious antelope: Will join and maintain a profile of social networking sites. They will network with people that they know and have established relationships with offline.
Wallowing warthog: Will shout about themselves and not listen or engage in conversation with others. Have hit a brick wall and will struggle to progress without new strategies.
Participating parrot: Post ratings and reviews, and will comment on blogs and other peoples posts.
Busy bee: Will actively update their profiles and look for opportunities. They may need to be cautious not to update too regularly as this can discourage communications.
Engaging eagle: Will publish a blog, have a website, create video, write articles and looks to develop a wider network. They will look for people that they can help.
Regardless of which category you fall into, there is still a place in social media for you. You get out what you put in and you can always evolve for the better.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Our Top LinkedIn Tips

According to Wikipedia, as of 22 March 2011, LinkedIn reported more than 100 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide! Quite staggering really!

So, there are many of us registered as users, but are we really getting the most out of it and using it correctly as a professional networking forum? What is holding us back and how can we develop a campaign to raise our profiles and gain interest in our products / services?

We hope that our top tips will help you to evolve your presence and re-adjust how you use the platform.

  • Complete your profile – make sure your profile is 100% complete and has an up to date professional photograph of you. LinkedIn guide you through this process and tell you which parts are missing.

  • Personalise your responses and requests – add some personality in your communication, don’t just rely on the automated ones. It shows you’ve taken the time to think about what you’re saying and gives the recipient a better idea of who you are.

  • Cross-promote your other social media profiles and website – make the most of the free tools and make sure you cover all bases but ensure you vary content to avoid being repetitive. Some people are more active than others on different platforms. Add a LinkedIn icon to your website – makes it far easier for people to find you.

  • Don’t refer to people you don’t know as a ‘friend’ – when you want to make a connection with someone you don’t know well, don’t refer to them as a friend – they’re not and they won’t take too kindly to it. Try to make contact with them first and ask them if it would be ok to connect with them. Use ‘other’ as an option, but make sure you have their email address to validate it.

  • Be active – it may seem obvious but some users have 200 connections but don’t do anything with it. Just because you have a profile and big following doesn’t mean the enquiries are going to flood in! You still have to seek out opportunities, pen yourself as an expert in your field and show people that you really want their business.

  • Work out a schedule of activity – it’s good to know what you’re going to say and when you’re going to say it. This will help you to monitor effectiveness and regulate your activity.

  • Groups – join relevant groups and leave ones that aren’t of interest / not very active. Regularly start conversations about topical industry issues rather than sales pitches. Ask for peoples input and always reply to their responses. It’s about developing an online relationship not just about standing on your soap box.

  • Use an agency to manage your account – if you’re time poor but still want to cover all bases, why not engage a social media agency to manage your accounts and campaign. Content can be agreed and goals and target audience set, enabling you to devote all your time to servicing your clients. Saving you time, saving you money, generating leads and interest – brilliant!

    Further tips are provided on our one-to-
  • Monday, 18 April 2011

    Nostalgic Brands – What Are They And What Do They Mean To You?

    With the recent return of the friendly faced Tetley Tea characters, I find myself returning to my youth, reminded of my Grandma collecting tokens and buying bumper packs just to redeem the branded frisbee and tea towels!

    Brands can certainly evoke feelings just like music and tastes can. They take you back to a moment in time, a place, a scenario. I certainly have fond memories of standing in my Grandmas kitchen drinking my cup of tea with my Tetley freebies tucked firmly under my arm!

    And even now my brand loyalty shines through when I reach for my choice of teabags in the supermarket – even if I now prefer decaf! I feel loyal to my youth, my memories and to the brand. You avoid changing your preference because you feel loyal – you may feel a sense of betrayal to the brand, and anyway, it wouldn’t taste or be the same!

    The return of retro characters on t-shirts and traditional toys on the shelves highlight the fact that we are almost guaranteed to buy them second time around, because we remember how much fun we had with them in the first place.

    The recognition of a brand can be so important – with recognition comes trust which then leads to loyalty. The saying ‘stick with what you know’ comes to mind.

    However, the economic downturn and times of austerity challenge our commitment to our favourite brands. The increase in sales and the availability of ‘own brands’ speaks volumes. But do we push the boat out for our most beloved brands? Do we sacrifice certain products so that we can continue to afford others? Our buying patterns change but we sieve out the brands that don’t add enough value to our lives and our businesses.

    What brand can you not live without?

    Tuesday, 29 March 2011

    Would you like a unique URL for your Facebook page

    First of all you need to set up your facebook page, this can be personal or business. Then you will need to have at least 25 followers. BREAKING NEWS - you no longer require 25 likes to be able to set this up.

    All you need to do is go to
    Here you have the option to choose one of the suggested names or type in the name that you would like, as long as the name in not already in use you will be able to change the setting. I have changed my business page to
    We have further customised our page by adding an image with our logo, telephone number, email address, twitter address and a QR code which links to my LinkedIn profile. As long as your image is 180px wide, you can add depth to 540 pixels.

    Friday, 11 March 2011

    Need some guidance on twitter etiquette?

    We have some great hints and tips on twitter etiquette to share with you. Twitter, for us, is all about sharing your knowledge. It may lead to people asking you to do work for them, it may not, it will depend on how you use it.

    Complete your profile and your bio, people like to know who they are following, so add a picture and state what your interests are.
    Talk to people, answer questions and share your knowledge – this is the best way to get followers.
    Be polite and respectful, you don’t know who will read your tweets.
    Target the people you follow – by industry, by location, by recommendation, whatever suits you and your business.
    Retweeting – if you see a tweet that is interesting and you think your followers would like to see it then why not retweet it. But do make sure to credit the original tweeter and not claim it as your own.
    It's polite to say thank you to those who retweet your messages. When people retweet your messages  they are recommending you as a source of quality information. Thank them as you would if someone recommended you in person.
    Use hastags (#), this will highlight keywords in your tweet for indexing to help you to attract the right people.
    It is OK to follow people you don’t know and it is also OK to unfollow people too – it does not mean that you don’t like them, they may be inactive or over active.
    Do not list those who unfollow you, this is very rude and will not get you any additional followers, it may even make a few of your current ones leave.
    Why not contact them and ask them why they unfollowed you.  Is there anything  you could do to encourage them to refollow you? This way you get some quality feedback about your tweets, you may find they are too general or too technical or too often or too few, whatever the feedback, it shows you are listening and want to improve.
    If all you want to do is promote the services that your company offers, then this is not the right platform, people will not follow you. To us, tweeting in this way is like receiving cold call after cold call from a telesales person.
    Automated tweets have their place, just make sure you don’t overdo them, generally people don’t like them.
    Don’t expect everyone to follow you back.
    You can follow our tweets @mooddesign and let us know if you would like to add anything to the list and we will update it as the suggestions come in.

    Thursday, 3 March 2011

    What does your brand say about you?

    An effective brand can give you the edge in increasingly competitive markets. It is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

    Branding is so much more than applying a logo in a consistent manner and using the right Pantone colours. Every form of communication should be pulling in the same direction, whether visual or tangible. Your communications should look and feel very similar, a bit like a uniform. Without the similarity you run the risk of losing your prospects and customers trust and loyalty because they can’t recognise, and then pinpoint communications back to you.

    How can you develop your branding? A starting point.

    Your logo should appear in a similar way on all marketing material and you should utilise the same typeface in all written communications (even email). It's a good idea to choose a small selection of colour ranges for your marketing material and you should always try and apply design styles consistently. Reinforce key messages in the same voice – the tone of your copy, put more of an emphasis on your key terms and the benefits of your services / products through repetition, but make it appealing (what do your prospects want to hear? We can save you time / money, etc).

    Essentially, your material should present itself like a family – supporting and looking similar to each other.

    But don't forget about other key areas:

    If your staff need uniforms, make sure they match your company colours and have your logo printed on them. Branded promotional items should also reflect upon your services / products and your customer base, for example, it would be more beneficial and suitable for a web designer to giveaway branded mouse mats rather than umbrellas! Is the quality of your print up to scratch and does it look as good as your products / reflect the standard of your services?

    Think long-term

    With branding you need to think about the bigger picture and see it as being a long-term necessity, but start as you mean to go on. The core message of all successful brands never really changes and the leading brands are usually leaders because they have years of consistency under their belts.

    The key is to have in place a very clear idea of what your brand is and how you will consistently communicate it. Why not start by writing the core proposition of your brand on a piece of paper and then put it in a prominent place where you will see it daily, next to a tick list of your achievable branding goals?

    Monday, 21 February 2011

    It happens every Tuesday, yet how many of us really know what it is for?

    #charitytuesday was the idea of Lovebox ( who describe themselves as ‘your digital wristband to help raise money and awareness for charities around the world via the web’. They saw an opportunity for twitter to help good causes and so #charitytuesday was born – but what is it?
    Twitter uses hashtags (#) to index content and this one is for the charity sector, #charitytuesday. It is a great way for both charities and their supporters to promote their causes. For a charity, it is an ideal way to launch a campaign and get people talking about their work. For supporters, it’s a great way to get others interested and help to raise the profile of your chosen charity. Encouraging conversations will increase the chance of new people becoming supporters.
    #charitytuesday now trends on twitter (popular topics being talked about). To trend on twitter you need people to tweet using your hashtag. The more people the better it works, it will not work so well if you have less people tweeting more often.
    What not to do – according to twitter doing one or more of the following can land you in trouble and even get your account suspended.
    • Adding one or more topic/hashtag to an unrelated Tweet in an attempt to gain attention in search.
    • Repeatedly tweeting the same topic/hashtag without adding value to the conversation in an attempt to get the topic trending/trending higher.
    • Tweeting about each trending topic in turn in order to drive traffic to your profile, especially when mixed with advertising.
    • Listing the trending topics in combination with a request to be followed.
    • Tweeting about a trending topic and posting a misleading link to something unrelated.­­
    Now you have some guidelines for the use of #charitytuesday. Will you be using twitter to help a good cause?

    Friday, 11 February 2011

    Do you get the most out of #FollowFriday?

    I attended a networking meeting this week where we were all talking about social media and how we use it for our businesses. This is a matter very close to my heart, I use it, I love it and I get work from it.

    One of the things that my table started to discuss was #FollowFriday, and this is where my rant starts. It's a fantastic idea, recommend people and companies who have helped you over the past week. So why do so many people just list a whole load of other people/businesses? One of the reasons was - that's the way that everyone else does it, is there another way to do this? Often the people who list a whole load of companies one after the other are just listing their twitter friends, wanting to promote them. We as the viewer have no idea why they are being recommended or if it worth us following them.

    The best way of promoting a friend or company that you have received a great service from is to tell all your twitter followers why they should follow them too.

    The advice I gave to my table was, if you are going to #ff a company, do it one company at a time and make sure that you give a reason on why you are recommending them, this way others reading your tweet can make an informed decision about wether they should follow them or not.

    Personally, I always skim over the lists of #ff as they are informative and hold no value to me - do you feel the same?

    Tuesday, 4 January 2011

    Out With The Old, In With The New

    As we say goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011, we can't help but wonder what the next 12 months has in the pipeline for us.

    The New Year celebrations not only prompt us to start looking to the future but to reflect upon the last 12 months. We often recall the bits we'd rather forget about over the things that have had positive effects on our lives - but what have we achieved and what have we enjoyed? It's important to start recognising the positives and improve on the negatives (or just forget about them!!).

    Going forwards we start to think about our waistlines, the need for more trips abroad, the prospect of kicking bad habits, but with work taking up so much of our time and playing a huge part in our lives perhaps at this time of year we should start to create business resolutions too.

    With the VAT increase and the general multiplying costs we can look to making our expenses leaner by searching for new suppliers that are closer to home and have lower overheads - passing the savings on to you.

    We can also turn our hand to DIY - through social media and free online web listings. Get it right and do it in-house after a training session with an expert and hopefully business leads will appear.

    Go in search of new business at local networking events rather than paying a business development manager to do it for you or to simply help reduce the hours spent composing and posting sales letters.

    Whatever your New Year business resolutions are, stick to them as much as possible and don't give in to the temptations!