For years I was making all the goal setting mistakes. I got measurement wrong, I focussed on the wrong stats, spent too long looking at them and chased the wrong goals. I know I’m not alone. I see bloggers obsessing about traffic without looking deeper all the time.
It’s an easy mistake to make and it’s one that is easily fixed. If you spend time setting real goals you’ll be surprised how easy it can be to achieve them.If you spend time setting real goals you’ll be surprised how easy it can be to achieve them.
Set three blogging goals for the first six months of 2016
Write them down
Set up a measurement chart so you can track your way to success.
If you enjoy this podcast please do me a massive favour and give me a review on iTunes, Stitcher or leave me a comment on this post. I’d love to hear your blogging stories and how you are getting on with my blogging challenges.
Are you using the right language to communicate with your customer?
Have you been to a party full of people from a different walk of life to your own? Maybe you were gatecrashing a tech event and felt out of your depth in the techie conversations. Perhaps you accompanied a friend to a college or school reunion and couldn’t join in the nostalgic conversation.
In both of these situations you’ll feel uncomfortable, you’ll be polite and smile sweetly but you’ll find it difficult to become part of the closed knit groups you have invaded.
As small business owners, it’s important we don’t make our customers feel that way. The easiest way to make our audience feel comfortable with us is to speak a language they use and understand.
The Blab was fantastic, but I had a problem with the language. Watch the video below to find out why.
How To Get Your Language Right
There was nothing wrong with the language Joel and co were using in the Blab. It was perfectly fitting for their mostly US and UK audience. But are we using the right language when we communicate with our customers? Could we inadvertently be using words that don’t mean the same thing to them as they do to us?
There is no easy way to avoid these language faux pas, but we can follow a few rules to ensure we are speaking a language our customer is comfortable with. One that makes them feel like a welcome addition to the conversation.
1. Are you using the same language as your customer?
I don’t mean are you speaking French to a French man or German to a German. I’m talking about the actual words you use.
What colloquialisms do your customers use? How casual are your telephone or face to face conversations? Identifying a tone of voice and style that replicates these conversations both on and offline will put your customers at ease.
2. Avoid jargon
Jargon has a place. When we speak to other industry professionals it’s useful shorthand, it makes us feel part of the club.
Unless your target market are people within your industry or people familiar with the terminology you must avoid jargon.
I know terms that have become a regular part of my vocabulary such as ‘SEO’, ‘URL’ and ‘B2B’ cause confusion with delegates on my workshops. I’ve modified the way I use these terms now and always expand on them.
When you use Jargon in your social media posts it’s essential that you explain the terms you are using.
3. Be aware of cultural differences in language
This was at the heart of the story in my video. When you are speaking to people who live in a different culture, whether it’s the US, the UK, Australia or even Ireland make sure you aren’t pumping your posts full of colloquialisms. This will only distract or confuse your audience. If you are recording video or audio and have a strong accent speak a little slower and be more concise with your pronunciation.
4. Don’t fake it
There’s a British TV comedy series called ‘Allo Allo’. It’s set in France during the second world war. There is a character in it who is referred to as ‘That idiot British Officer who thinks he can speak French’.
Every time he appears he stumbles over words in a ridiculous French accent. It’s embarrassing to watch, even the other characters in the series are embarrassed.
Don’t be that British officer. if you are going to speak the language of your customer be authentic. Don’t use words you feel uncomfortable with just to fit in. Instead, find a tone of voice and a style of speech that works for you and relates to your target market.
In part three we will discuss how you can measure your results.
Now that you have planned that strategy and thought about the content you will post it is important to monitor your success.
You need to do this on an ongoing basis. If you wait until the end of a campaign you may have missed some key signals on how your strategy is working. I recommend doing a weekly audit to start with and then pushing this out to bi-weekly or monthly once you are further into your plan.
Keeping a keen eye on your Facebook strategy results allows you to adjust your strategy as you discover what is and isn’t working. In today’s post I’m going to look at how to measure success dependent on your business goals.
We’ll look at:
Are you reaching the right people
How to measure growth in interactions
How to find your best posts
Tracking traffic to your website with Google analytics
Whisper codes and Facebook ‘Offers’
Before we start you need to go back to the beginning and look at what goals you set for your strategy. Here is how to measure success depending on the goals you set.
1. Increase audience size
Was your goal to build your community? If so this is one of the easiest statistics to measure. Make a note of how many Likes your page has when you start and monitor the growth over the duration of your campaign.
It’s also important to ensure that you are attracting the right people. You may well achieve your goal in audience size but you need to check that your audience is relevant.
You can discover this via Facebook insights.
On your Facebook insights tab click ‘People’. Here you are able to view demographic data about your audience. You can see what percentage of your Likers are Male or Female, what age group they fit into and where they live.
Going beyond page Likers you can see this same information about the people that your page posts have reached and the people who interact with you.
2. Brand awareness
Is your brand getting noticed on Facebook? One good way to measure this is to measure the number of interactions you get on posts and the amount of people that are talking about your page (PTAT). You can do this manually but it takes time, particularly if you are getting a lot of interaction.
Quintlyis a really useful tool for monitoring growth in interaction and PTAT. You will need to set it up prior to starting your campaign so that it can start gathering data.
In the graph below you can see statistics about interaction and PTAT both for Spiderworking.com and We Teach Social. As you can see Spiderworking had a peak but is now tailing of (due to me posting less) and We Teach Social is seeing a small but steady increase.
Fanpage Karma is a nice tool that shows you all sorts of inside data on your page. One of it’s best features helps you to find out what posts are performing best.
It will show you a list of your top performing posts and your weakest posts. This should help you define what posts work best for your audience.
You also have the ability to tag your posts according to type, style, tone of voice and desired action. By doing this you will be able to see what types of posts consistantly perform best for you.
3. Traffic To Website
This is an easy statistic for you to measure. If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, and if you don’t you really should install it, you can see exactly how much traffic is coming from Facebook.
Click on ‘Aquisition’ on the left hand side ‘social’ and ‘Network referrals’ to see how many people have arrived on your site via Facebook.
Google URL Builder
The only catch here is that you will only see the total number of referrals that come to your site via Facebook not the number that come from your page or your ads. For a more detailed analysis you can use Google URL builder. This adds some tracking info to the links you post to Facebook allowing you to identify exactly how many click throughs come from those links. Click here to read more about how it works.
If you shorten your links using Bitly before you post them to Facebook you are able to access information about how many times those links have been clicked and by who. This is a particularly useful tool to use if you don’t have analytics installed or if you are driving traffic to a website other than your own. Click here to read more about how it works.
If your goal was to get more leads you first need to decide what a lead is. Is it an email address? A website enquiry? A phone number?
If you want to collect email addresses you can count how many you collect from competitions or other promotions you do on Facebook. You can do the same for phone numbers
If you want people to complete a form on your website use Google analytics to track those who visit your site from Facebook
Keep a record of how many of these leads convert to see how effective your lead capturing contests and promotions are.
Facebook offers have passed their prime but they are still available. Click the ‘Offer’ icon on your status update box to set up an offer. This is a paid option but you will be able to measure it’s success when people avail of the offer.
Share a word or a phrase on Facebook and encourage your customers to say it when they drop in to the store or order from you on the phone. If you are an online store you can set it up as a discount code on your website. When customers use this code give them a discount or something extra with their purchase. This is a great way to know that people are finding out about you or paying attention to your posts on Facebook.
Keep a record of all these statistics so that you can measure progression over time.
These are just a few ways you can measure the success of your Facebook strategies. How do you do it? Leave me a comment below.
I’m not sure how I first stumbled upon Mention but I’ve loved it since I started using it. This tool can help you monitor online conversations mentioning you, your competitors or your customers. I use it to make sure I know who is sharing my blog posts and talking about me. It makes it easy for me to thank people and begin to build relationships with people who are interested in what I write.
Mention will prompt you to set up your first alert. I recommend that you make this your business name.
Give your alert a name and type in the keyword or key phrase that you want to track.
Click the ‘+’ if you want to add more than one keyword. For example I want to track We Teach Social but I also need to include ‘weteachsocial’ in order to pick up mentions of our website.
Click on ‘advanced settings’ and you can delve further asking for results that include more than one word in the same mention.
For example, if I look for mentions of We Teach Social here I will get results that mention all three words but not necessarily as a phrase:
“Do you teach social media? We need you”
This will appear in results even though it has no relation to our business.
You can also exclude search terms so I can eliminate tweets that say:
“Did you know that we teach social skills here?”
This would have no relation to our business. I am excluding results that include ‘we teach social media’ or ‘we teach social skills’
You may want to extend the list of eliminated words or phrases as you get used to using Mention.
You are also able to choose the languages you want to monitor from this interface.
Click ‘Next step’ at the bottom of the page to move on.
Now you can choose the sources you want to see results from and eliminate your own websites.
Click ‘Create my alert’
Now choose the social networks you want to add to the search. This allows you to reply to alerts directly from Mention. As you can see I’ve added the We Teach Social Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Now your alert is set up and the mentions will start rolling in. Click on your search term name on the left hand menu to see them.
If you see mentions coming in from irrelevant sources you can tell Mention not to show you stuff from there again. For example I don’t need to see my own Twitter mentions of We Teach Social. I can eliminate the Spiderworking Twitter account by clicking on the tweet and hitting the no entry symbol at the top of the screen.
You can reply to tweets and posts directly from Mention.
Click on the mention you want to respond to. This will open it up on the right hand side of the screen allowing you to respond. If it is a Tweet Mention will automatically let your reply from your connected Twitter account, the same goes for Facebook.
Mention also flags people that mention you that it considers influential. You can filter results to just display these people by clicking ‘priority’ in the left hand sidebar.
As with all tools that claim to measure influence I’d take this with a pinch of salt. It can be a good starting point handy way to discover new people and investigate them further to see if they are truly influential.
I’ve shown you how to set up a search for your own name but it’s a good idea to set up searches that mention competitors or key customers too.
I am a big fan of this tool, I am now using their premium service as I find it useful. It’s a very cost effective way to monitor a small business.
Have you used Mention? What other tools do you use to monitor your brand? Let me know in the comments below.
LinkedIn is a powerful B2B (business to business) network but how can you use it to meet new relevant people?
This weeks videocast shows you how to find leads on Linkedin.
To be really effective you need to do more than connect with the people you find. If they accept your information you need to push the relationship further. Make sure you are interacting with the content they share and get involved in relevant conversation threads.
Here’s how to use LinkedIn advanced search to find customers and valuable connections:
If you really want to warm up the relationship you can message them and ask them to meet some time for coffee and a chat to see how you might be able to help each other out.
Do you have a Linkedin strategy? How do you engage with those who you connect with. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
One of the things I love most about social media marketing is that it has made businesses and brands personal again. Big faceless businesses seem more personal now that I can talk to individuals on Twitter or Facebook.
For small businesses social media gives us the opportunity to have personal, one to one relationships with our customers even if we never meet them.
If you have a bricks and mortar business it’s even more important. If your customers are familiar with you online they will feel more comfortable talking to you in store.
Whether you are a one person telling people about you and your story or an employer you should consider featuring more human beings in your online marketing.
Showing the humans behind your business will:
Make you appear more trustworthy – You aren’t a faceless business anymore. People will feel more comfortable knowing that they are dealing with human being.
Showcase your expertise – People will begin to know who in your organisation does what and who has expertise in which areas. Your staff can share snippets of this via tips and advice.
Personal connection – We used to have connections with the people we did business with. These connections almost disappeared as we started to do business further afield. Social media gives us the opportunity to connect with our customers again even if they are further afield.
Here are six examples of businesses featuring the people behind their brand as part of their online marketing:
Using Your Website – Red Oak Tax Refunds
Click on the Red Oak Tax Refunds ‘About’ tab and you will see a wall of smiling faces. Click on the tile next to any of those photos and you can learn a little bit more about the staff. You’ll find out what they do in the business as well as a bit of personal information. This allows customers to discover who they are talking to on the phone or emailing.
Using Your Twitter Profile – Eventbrite Ireland
Eventbrite are a large organisation yet when I visit their Twitter account I discover the person behind it. Within the bio I am directed to @ann_lowney the face behind the corporate logo. It’s good to know there is a real person behind the tweets.
If you are a smaller business including a bit of personal info in your bio can make you more approachable and spark ice breaking conversations. I recently included my three loves; cats, cake and Dr. Who in my bio and I’ve managed to get into conversations as a result of it.
Handing over the keys – San Diego Zoo on Pinterest
San Diego Zoo have handed over a Pinterest board to one of their Zoo Keepers. Amongst the boards full of cute animals, wild style and items on sale on the gift shop you will find ‘Zoo Keeper Rick’s board’. This shared board allows Rick to share his expertise adding snippets of info about the animals he photographs.
And then there’s this picture:
Using Facebook – Bunsen
Smiling faces in our newsfeed can catch our eye. Since they opened in mid 2013 Bunsen have been posting pictures of their team on Facebook. The un-posed nature of this photo gives us a taste of a friendly and fun restaurant.
Using YouTube – Kew Gardens
Video has the advantage of letting you see people when they aren’t perfectly posed. It can capture a personality in a way that would be impossible using images or text alone. In this example from Kew Gardens you meet the horticulturists as they taste the Trinidadian Scorpion Butch T pepper, one of the hottest peppers in the world. As they eat their personalities are revealed as is the humour and the team dynamic.
Stories – airbnb
For those of you who haven’t encountered airbnb yet it’s an alternative to using a hotel or a traditional BnB. Users can sign up to rent out a room in their home or an entire premises for a short period of time.
Unlike my other examples the ‘stories’ section of the airbnb website doesn’t tell us about the staff. It tells the stories of the people who share their homes. Each segment features a home owner. It tells us about their lifestyle, how they discovered airbnb and how it has changed their lives.
The videos are sometimes fun, sometimes moving but more than anything else they make us remember the people. This makes total sense. I don’t really care who is behind the airbnb software and marketing but I do want to know more about the people whose homes I may be borrowing.
I don’t like the term ‘humanising’. By revealing the people behind your brand you are just encouraging human interactions. The brand will never be human but the people behind it are. Telling the stories of you, your staff and customers can be a short cut to telling people what your ethos is.
Do you profile the people behind your business? Do you tell people about you and what makes you tick? Let me know in the comments box.
Nostalgia makes us fell warm and happy. Even nostalgic stories set in times before our living memory can evoke these feelings. Tapping in to this emotion can help people feel warm and fuzzy about our brand too. Here’s four examples of businesses using nostalgia to tell their stories and some tips on how small businesses can replicate their ideas.
Volkswagen have taken the history of their most iconic car and turned it into a documentary. The film available to watch on an interactive website and on YouTube tells the tale of a 1955 Volkswagen Beetle that travelled the world three times. It’s still on the road now.
The documentary isn’t a direct advert, it’s a moving film telling the stories of both the car and the people who drove it. It reminds us how a car can become the central part of our lives and makes us feel empathy with the brand.
How can small businesses recreate this?
This is a big budget production but even small businesses can tell the stories of their business. Try shooting a short video with a customer telling the story of when they first met you or about a time that they used your product.
RTE is Ireland’s national broadcaster. They use their Twitter account to share snippets from their archives captured on Vine as well as historic pictures.
This taps into their audiences nostalgia. The old films of Ireland seem to tell us about a simpler time that our parents or grandparents used to inhabit. We are reminded of RTÉ’s place in the history of the country and its position as a national institution.
How can small businesses recreate this?
Start creating your own archive. If you have old photos of staff, video or images taken at events start collating and sharing them. Choose 6 second snippets from your old videos and film them on Vine straight from the screen.
If your business is new start documenting now. Put together a file where you collect images, videos and stories as they happen. You should be the enthusiastic parent to your business always on hand to capture those important moments.
If you are feeling creative you could use the 1 Second Everyday app for Android or iPhone to capture moments from your entire year.
The story of the Titanic is steeped in history and its tragic end somehow makes it all the more interesting. The ship was built in Belfast and there is a ‘Titanic Experience’ tourist attraction in the city. The Titanic gives Belfast a tourism hook that excludes the recent troubles.
The Titanic Stories website is a resource packed with snippets from the lives of the people involved in the Titanic both crew and the passengers. The ‘On This Day’ page shares historic Titanic moments for each day of the year.
This site brings history to life and reels in it’s audience leaving us wanting to get closer to that history.
How can small businesses recreate this
The Titanic has a wealth of information on their website that is all shareable on social media. You can do the same with a blog. Share tips, news and stories from your business that others will want to share with their friends. As your audience learns more about you, your business and your expertise they will be more inclined to pay you a visit or hire you.
The Glasnevin Museum is based in the historic Glasnevin cemetery where many Irish heroes are buried. They use their Instagram account to take haunting pictures of the graveyard and local area. On the anniversary of famous deaths they share images of their gravestones in tribute. Many of these images are also shared on their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Instagram is the perfect medium for this as the filters make the images look faded as if they were taken many years ago.
How can small businesses recreate this
The BBC have a webpage that lists significant news stories that happened on this day in history. History Orb delves further into the past. Take a look at these and pick out some events that you can relate to your business or industry. Create content that ties into those historic events.
Tapping in to nostalgia will help followers associate positive emotions with your business. These techniques will also help you tell stories that will make you more memorable. Customers will feel like they are part of your story and are more likely to tell their friends about you. Try it out and see if adding a bit of history to your business helps you engage your audience.
Have you used nostalgia in your social media marketing? Have you been captured by nostalgia from others? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your stories.
Telling stories can help you to engage your customers attention but how can you apply storytelling to your social media marketing? We’ve all heard that a photo can tell a thousand words, I’ve found some really great example from businesses that are using visual storytelling effectively on Facebook.
1. Preparing for opening – Cafe Paradiso
If you are just starting your business you don’t have to wait until it opens to start your Facebook page. Very often it can be the story of you building towards the launch that will grab the attention of your potential customers. I used this technique when I first started Spiderworking.com and it was great to have a captive audience by the time I launched.
Cafe Paradiso is a famous and wonderful vegetarian restaurant in Cork. In 2009 it was hit badly by the floods and had to close for a while. Up until that point they hadn’t had any presence on Facebook.
The restaurant chose to start it’s Facebook page during the refurbishment after the flood. They informed customers when they were planning to reopen and began to use visual storytelling to share updates on the progress they were making on the repairs and refurbishment.
2. Showcasing your customers – Cat Vacations Cattery
Cat Vacations Cattery has really captured my attention. Even though it’s a bit of a drive it is where I will be brining my cats the next time they need a holiday home. The reason for my enthusiasm is that they share pictures of their happy customers. No not the cat owners but the cats in residence.
They don’t just share the pictures, they also share a little story with each one. The cats are the characters in their story.
This approach works in two ways:
1. I can see that the cattery is a nice place for my cats to stay and that the cats are happy there.
2. As a customer I would be delighted to be able to check in on my cats on Facebook and happy that others can see how wonderful they are.
3. Before And After Shots Waldorf Barbers & Roches Barbers
You might not think of before and after shots as being an example visual storytelling but when you think about it they are a perfect example. They tell a story quickly: this is where we started and this is where we end. I’ve found two barber shops who have made the most of this technique.
Before and after only tells part of the story. This series of photos from Roches Barbers shows a guy getting his hair shaved for charity. The half way shot and the look of slight embarrassment on the customers face says a lot.
4. Milestones – Tower Of London & The Malton
Every business has a story, how did you get to where you are today? Who are the people that made it happen? These stories can be told via Facebook milestones, add a photo to each and they are a perfect example of visual storytelling. If you plan them and share them one at a time, maybe daily over a period of time your Likers will get involved in that story.
Britain’s ‘Historic Royal Places’ have been really clever at creating Timelines for their properties. I particularly like the Tower Of London page, as well as being a great storytelling device it also teaches the audience a bit of history.
The Tower of London are fulfilling two functions here:
1. Keeping potential tourists engaged, making sure they put the Tower of London on their travel itinerary.
2.Promoting it as a place you can bring your Children, or maybe groups of school children to learn history in an entertaining way.
It’s ticking boxes for both international and local tourists.
The Malton hotel in Killarney, Ireland also uses Milestones to great effect. Flicking through their Timeline makes fascinating reading and makes a visit to the hotel even more interesting.
I can imagine those who stay at The Malton will be looking for the bars on the windows in the basement and imagining the people who were confined there by both the British and the IRA. It will make their stay part of living history and again this will be particularly attractive for the international tourist market and local historians alike.
Old photos are huge on social media at the moment, you will see them everywhere getting plenty of likes, comments and shares. Using Milestones can help you jump on this trend whilst it is still fresh.
Telling your stories like this on Facebook will make your Likers feel that they are part of your story. In the same way we keep moments from the books we read and the films we watch stored away for later you are giving your audiences moments that they will remember. This should result in your brand or business name resonating with them long in to the future. It will also make them keen to become part of the story when they visit your or buy from you.
What do you think? Does visual storytelling work? Have you used any techniques or seen any good examples? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Facebook milestones allow you to tell the story of your business. If you have a business full of history like the Malton Hotel in Killarney telling your story with Milestones on your Facebook business page is easy. Their building is 150 years old and I love the way they have linked to more information on each milestone to their website.
You don’t have to be a historic business to include milestones. You can include photos from your opening day, celebrate your first employee or talk about an event you have run or an award you have won.
When you share your milestones you can keep the storytelling going. Share one a day over a period of time. This way your page Likers will become involved in your story as it unravels.
Here’s how to add Milestones to your Facebook business timeline.
Note: You can only add milestones back as far as the start date you set for your business on your page.
If you want to change the start date for your page click on ‘Edit page’ at the top of your page. Choose ‘Update page info’ from the drop down menu and ‘edit’ next to ‘founded’.
Have you seen any creative examples of Milestones? Have you created Milestones on your business page? I’d love to see more examples so do leave me a comment below.
One of the biggest barriers for small businesses embarking on social media marketing is the amount of time that it can take. It can be a struggle to keep the amount of time you spend on it down whilst still achieving results.
Here’s my tips on managing your social media productively and effectively and seven social media productivity techniques I use on a daily basis to keep me focussed.
Choose your networks
A lot of businesses make the mistake of trying to manage too many networks at once. If you really want to succeed choose the networks that you know your customers and potential customers are on and concentrate your time on those.
Set aside some time to search for your existing customers online and see what networks they frequent. Once you’ve done this make a list of customers you would like to attract and do the same.
Use search tools on Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin to find out who is talking about topics related to your industry or your customers, are these people potential customers or people who might influence potential customers?
One of the reasons businesses give up on social media is that they aren’t seeing return on their time investment. The only way to measure the ROI is to set yourself goals, if you put together a strategy that will help you achieve these goals you will spend less time wondering what to post and you will value the time you spend on your marketing more.
7 Timesaving Techniques I Use Every Day
1. Content plan
I cannot stress enough how much time a content plan can save you on social media. I have always found that I waste the most time when I haven’t planned in advance. I will sit in front of my computer staring at Facebook or Twitter trying to decide what to post.
The first content schedule I created was for Twitter, I started by choosing times during the day that I wanted to schedule tweets for. I then filled these time slots with the different types of content I wanted to share. This content ranges from ‘blog post’, ‘curated link’ to a tweet promoting my newsletter. My first Twitter schedule was a word document now it lives in Evernote and I would be lost without it.
I now have a far more comprehensive content schedule. I set themes for my content and plan blog posts, videos and social media posts around it. This helps me brainstorm ideas in advance, research more fully and even get posts written before my deadlines. As a result I’m managing time better and producing better content.
Social media shouldn’t be something you just slot in when you have time. If you are committing to using social media for your business you need to set aside time to do it. It needs to become part of your daily routine.
I spend an hour every morning reading industry news, curating content and scheduling posts for the day. I also set aside time during the week for blogging and once a month for video production. The rest of my week is spent working for clients, training and preparing courses.
The result is that although I’m always under time pressure I know how much time I have to fulfil tasks and I rarely over run my social media schedule.
Hootsuite has become the most important app in my toolbox. It allows me to manage multiple Twitter accounts, keep on top of my Twitter searches and lists, schedule posts and shorten links so that I can measure performance.
The result is a massive time saving. I don’t need to use multiple tools for each of these functions as I once did, I don’t need to log in and out of Twitter accounts and I can view everything I need from one dashboard on my browser.
I use Feedly as my daily newspaper. It brings together all my Google alerts and all the latest articles from the blogs I read.
The first thing I do every morning is sit down with my iPad and my breakfast and read the news. This helps me keep up with what is happening in the social media world and it helps me find content to curate on my social media channels.
If I find something I think is worth sharing I click ‘save for later’ and pick it up later when I log in to Feedly on my computer.
One of my key procrastination black holes happens when I’m blogging. I seem to be very easy to distract when I’m writing. For some reason the promise of a fresh cat picture every time I write 100 words does seem to help. Every blog post or course I write now goes through Written Kitten first.
We are surrounded by distractions, our phones send us push notifications, our laptops tell us when we have email. To avoid this constant flow of distraction I just switch off. I check my email at allocated times during the day and I keep my phone with it’s push notifications out of site whilst I’m working. I even switch my phone off when I’m in the middle of something that requires my complete attention.
A tool I rediscovered recently is ‘Strict Workflow‘, I use it when I’m unable to exert self control. It’s a Chrome browser extension that blocks me from Facebook and Twitter for 25 minutes at a time allowing me only 5 minutes in between sessions. I have this running as I type this post and it’s working well at keeping me focussed.
It’s really important to take breaks during the day and I find the best time to have those breaks is between projects. As my job is so varied I need to reset my brain between tasks. I reward myself with a short break when a job is completed giving my brain time to wind down and wind back up to the next job in hand. I also try to take a walk every lunchtime as I find this allows my mind to wander free. I often have my best ideas whilst I’m on these walks.
I still have work to do, I haven’t yet mastered the perfect to do list although I think Trello might be the one. By putting these seven tools and techniques in place I have saved countless hours, days and even weeks on social media marketing and I see better ROI as a result.
Do you have any productivity tips for using social media? I’d love to hear them.