"If there’s one thing you have if you run a small business, it’s time. If there’s one thing you probably don’t have, it’s money."
I have to credit the above statement to Will Critchlow, it condenses what I'm about to discuss in a simplified way.
Essentially social media costs nothing but can be a fairly time consuming practice depending on how many platforms you choose to use. Social media is also the key way for a small business to develop awareness, raise its profile, gauge its market and interact with existing and future customers.
As a small business you're in a great position to start exploiting social media for all its worth.
As the UK is celebrating its first Small Business Saturday on 7th December 2013, here I present the first in a series of posts that will take a look at each individual social media platform, and highlight how your small business can wring the best out of each one.
Let's begin with Twitter.
Snapchat, the equally popular and controversial photo-sharing site, has edged out Facebook in being the most frequently used platform to upload photos.
Out of 809m daily photo uploads in November 2013 so far, Snapchat has a 49% share (accounting for approximately 400m daily uploads), with Facebook now at 43%.
This 400m figure has grown from the reported 350m in September 2013 and a previous figure of 200m in June 2013.
Only 74 of the top 5,000 YouTube channels are from brands.
This research comes from Touchstorm’s latest study, The Touchstorm Video Index, covering Q3 2013 and concentrating on the 'YouTube 5,000', an elite group of channels with at least 43m views each.
Of those 5,000 channels, only 2% are owned by brands. That means there are 4,926 teenagers with webcams, older people with camcorders, vloggers with flipcams, bedroom animators with smartphones and various other fashionistas, musicians, close-up magicians, action figure critics and amateur film-makers who are completely dominating the platform and squeezing out the big companies.
What can brands do about this? Is there any hope for them?
Here are some key findings from the report, along with our own insight, ideas for strategy and a look at the brands who are using YouTube successfully.
Last month Twitter added an image preview feature that causes pictures and Vines to automatically appear in users' timelines.
Prior to the update users had to manually expand the media or click through to view the full tweet, but we're now shown a small preview window whether we like it or not..
As with all alterations to the Twitter interface, the update was met with outrage from users who always seem surprised when agile and innovative tech companies seek to evolve their product.
The new image previews can occasionally cause problems, like this morning when my colleague Ben Davis caught a glimpse of a very NSFW picture that someone I follow had tweeted, but in general I find they add some much needed variety to my Twitter timeline.
Twitter wallpapers/backgrounds aren’t integral to business, but if a user has found themselves on your profile page, why not hit them between the eyes with some marketing?
Perhaps upcoming events, a product showcase, or something of your history.
There are many things one can do with a Twitter background, and here’s a selection of what’s out there that you can replicate.
As Twitter grows, it's more difficult to digest your own activity, to search for trends and content, and to find the right people to engage with.
To the already swollen ranks of Twitter clients comes Tame. Tame claims to provide further context for the user.
I asked a few questions of their team, to find out more about the service.
This week's stats roundup is all about shopping, including conversion optimisation, mobile-friendly web design, showrooming and eBay.
There's also room for some beefy stats on Facebook and Twitter (after Twitter's IPO) and some interesting detail on web standards and ad complexity.
Feed your brain with this week's rare and juicy stats - watch that white shirt! And for more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article entitled Fight Club! Netflix, LOVEFiLM and NOW TV: a UX comparison. For this I had to sign up to their respective VoD services. You know, for the greater good of journalism.
Now the time has come to quit these VoD services because it seems there really is such thing as too much choice... plus I'm not made of money... and there's only so many hours in a day. I do have a job you know!
Based on recent research that suggests 72% of customers expect complaints on Twitter to be answered in one hour, I'll be taking a look at each company's Twitter customer service channel compared to their site's own customer service, then finally I'll see how easy it is to quit and how easily they let me go.
If content is king, then social is definitely queen. With a fast growing digital society that loves to post and boast, social media has become a fundamental tool in a content marketer’s kit.
And for the travel marketers, social has been a gift. Done well, a great campaign can far outreach any traditional marketing activity in terms of audience and influence.
Social, no longer seen as a bolt-on channel, has become an integral part of travel marketing, from PR, reputation management to customer engagement. And in many ways, it's also the voice of the brand.
Virgin Atlantic’s director of brand & customer experience, Reuben Arnold says: 'Social media helps us demonstrate our personality and what we’re about'.
In my last two posts I introduced the Econsultancy Twitter network, and wrote about how we could use social network analysis to identify influencers and innovators in this community.
In this post I'll look at how mapping a network can help us identify sub-groups in the community and target content to them more effectively.