Renee

Seven social media marketing mistakes

I was delighted to have welcomed a couple of new clients on board this January – both female entrepreneurs with established marketing, but whose social media needed an overhaul. (One lovely client was seen on a recent edition of Dragons’ Den, walking away with a cool £60k!)

Analysing anyone’s existing social media always leads to an abundance of fresh ideas, setting clearer strategies and reviewing target markets.  It also highlights the fundamentals of social media marketing that people often get wrong. The following seven mistakes can be costly – are you making any of these?

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1. Mistake: Failing to create a Social Media Marketing Strategy

You may think you’ve planned your strategy well, but a hard-hitting discussion often gets to the core of this problem: many businesses churn out excellent social media posts onto beautifully crafted profiles, but with no idea of what they hope to achieve.  This sometimes leads to a flurry of activity followed by a lack of fresh posts, or a mishmash of information that confuses the audience or makes them forget why they started following.

How to put this right: Set a robust strategy, and be prepared to tweak it regularly according to results, trends and budget.

 

2. Mistake: Not being clear on your target market

A major failing is not honing in on your ideal client properly, leaving the target for marketing too wide and unfocused. It’s like reaching out randomly in the dark and hoping to grab someone as they pass by.

How to put this right: Think about who needs what you’re offering, where they are and what’s likely to appeal to them. After identifying your exact target client, you can then work outwards to incorporate all those that could benefit from your products or services. But keep in mind whoever your main focus is, and stay on track to satisfy that buyer. You don’t need a niche market to achieve this – simply imagine the one ideal person sitting by their computer – or tapping away on the phone – and go for them.

 

3. Mistake: Not having a clear marketing message

What is it you want your potential clients to do? Are you sending them to the right places on your website so they can act as you’d like them to?  On a very basic level, can people actually understand what you are trying to say to them?

How to put this right:  Use plain English to be clear and concise about what they need to know and don’t confuse your messages.

 

4. Mistake: Forgetting the human touch

Social media is what it says on the tin: “social.”  It’s about people communicating with people. Remember that old saying, “people buy from people”? It’s true; no one likes a faceless corporate entity that doesn’t engage.

How to put this right: Avoid using stock answers to queries or business terminology, stay personal and friendly and remember that it’s real people who will be liking, sharing and commenting on your posts, so be personable.  And this leads me to…

 

5.  Mistake: Buying followers

Aaargh – my biggest pet hate. Some people buy followers to look better, but let’s face it, these are rarely real people. They’re usually computer bots or fake accounts, and very little interaction takes place as a result.

How to put this right: It’s better to have fewer followers, but they are real people who like what you’re doing and will engage with your pages – liking, commenting and sharing your posts. This keeps your social media active and strengthens your social presence. Your followers are your best source of marketing!

 

6. Mistake: Not spending enough time on marketing

Running a business keeps you busy, so non-essential tasks can easily land on the backseat. Some people consider social media marketing – or marketing in general – to be admin tasks – and therefore not essential, forgetting that marketing is super-important for keeping their products or services in the audience’s mind.

How to put this right: Keep your clients and customers happy, but dedicate a certain amount of time to marketing or your business won’t have the opportunity to grow. And if you really don’t have the time, skills or enthusiasm to handle your social media marketing yourself, think about outsourcing it.

 

7.  Mistake: Avoiding social media

Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’re aware of the power of social media.  But are you using it to your advantage? To recap, social media allows you to connect with your target clients and potential customers, engage with them and showcase your business. It’s a cost-effective option that every business needs, yet I still come across people who tell me that their business doesn’t need social media. Really?

How to put this right: Give me a call or drop me an email and we can go through some options that will meet your objectives according to the time and budget you have available.

What’s next…?

If you’re not sure how, why or what you might be missing out on, feel free to get in touch about improving your business’ online visibility. You can reach me on all major social media channels or by email.

A quick explanation of what’s going on with Facebook groups

If you’re a business owner relying on activity through your Facebook group, a group administrator running a busy page, or a group member who likes to keep an eye on what’s going on but you don’t actually contribute – and you’ve seen all the panicked messages over the past week, don’t despair!

There have been reports of groups’ memberships dwindling overnight due to devilish Facebook staff scouring the platform to randomly remove people at will. My newsfeed has been full of notices from people begging their group members to post on the relevant page to prevent them from being hurled into oblivion by a Facebook team with nothing better to do.  Well, don’t worry; this is not what’s happening.

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Here’s what’s actually going on:

Has Facebook really got involved with group members?

Yes.

Has Facebook removed members because they don’t participate in discussions or like posts?

No.

Not if those members want to be there.

This is what’s happened…

People can join a group in a number of ways, including:

  • Searching for the topic
  • Searching for the specific group
  • Being invited by the group moderator
  • Being invited by someone else
  • Being added by someone else.

The final point in that list is the most relevant to this discussion, which is why I’ve written it in bold type. It’s the one that should stand out.

Let’s assume you have a personal Facebook account.  If you have been added to a group by someone else, there’s no guarantee you want to be there.  As an example, I recently noticed religious and political posts popping up in my personal newsfeed along with notifications that some of my friends had commented on these posts. When I checked why I was seeing this, I discovered that some friends had added me to these groups, believing I’d be interested in them. I’ve also been added to people’s business groups, local history groups, cat owner, chocolate lover and various others that I may or may not want to belong to.

I’ve chosen to stay and either participate or simply scroll through periodically in the ones that are of interest to me, remove myself from ones that aren’t, and stop notifications from ones I don’t really care about but don’t want to offend the moderator by leaving the group.

Why Facebook has got busy

Facebook now wants to make sure that people are joining groups that are relevant and meaningful to them. They haven’t randomly removed people; they have simply moved people who have been added to a group, but never visited it, into the “invited” section of the group’s Members list.

What you can do if you run a Facebook group

If you’re a group moderator, you can see your group’s updated member count in the Members list. These are people who have chosen to belong to your group, whether or not they take part in its discussions. The people who have been moved to the Invited list are ones who did not ask to join the group – you or someone else added them.  You can now choose whether you’d like to send a reminder to those people or accept that they don’t want to join your party.

I hope that helps to clarify what’s happened. And remember, if you’re running a business group, it needs loving care and regular attention to keep it active, healthy and useful – bit like me!

Feel free to get in touch if you need help with any aspect of Facebook for your business. You can call me, drop me an email, or find me on any of the major social media channels. I don’t run a Facebook group, but I do have a business page – here it is!

 

New year, new strategy

Welcome to 2019, and the excitement and uncertainty it brings!

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While the world waits with baited breath to see how we manage to keep our little island afloat after March 29th, one thing is for certain – whether or not the country prospers, our social media will be on overdrive with opinions, advice, criticism and, hopefully, continued celebration of all that’s great here in the UK.

Over the years I’ve come to dislike new year’s resolutions intensely as I’m dreadful for committing to them, but for those of you who are starting the year with good intentions, here’s a reminder of ten things you can do to boost your marketing. They’re listed in no particular order, so maybe choose your favourite three strategies to focus on for January and see how it goes…

  1. Create a social media plan that encompasses all the platforms you use, or should be using. Be realistic – there’s no point scheduling time you don’t have as you’ll be setting yourself up to fail, and no one likes that.
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  2. If time management is an issue, use a good social media dashboard to help you schedule posts more productively. I love Hootsuite, but the usually-helpful team there made some changes last year that I didn’t agree with.  I researched other platforms and still found this to be the best for me, and therefore the one I tend to recommend. (I can help with your time management too… just click here.)
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  3. Think about using paid posts. Since Facebook changed its algorithm to – apparently – enforce its goal of keeping it a ‘friends and family platform,’ it’s been much harder for business pages to feature in anyone’s newsfeed. This doesn’t mean you should stop being there; on the contrary, it’s still a brilliant place to be seen. You just might find that you’re seen a lot more easily if you pay to boost your page, or even a single post.
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  4. Share images! Photos are hugely popular on all social media channels, so don’t be shy to share. Be discerning though, and remember that what’s fun on Facebook may not be appropriate on LinkedIn.
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  5. And following on from that… if you’re not yet on Instagram, join the party now! It’s fantastic if you’re a creative person and a whiz with imagery, obviously – but even if you’re not, this is the hottest place for building a following and encouraging people to recognise your brand, products and services.
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  6. Make sure you consistently link back to your website. Help your SEO by bringing people from social media to your site and directing them to the pages that will earn you money!
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  7. Reshare posts with a fresh headline. For example, if you’ve posted a blog, share it the first time with the headline you chose, then share again a couple of days later with a completely different headline. You may be surprised to see the varying responses.
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  8. Whether you’re rewriting headlines or sharing new content, don’t forget to use keywords! If you’ve attended any of my social media training sessions, you’ll know that I bang on about keywords – and for good reason. Don’t underestimate their power, as these are the terms your potential customers are searching for.
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  9. Don’t be scared to show your personality…. Remember that social media is social, and people buy from people. Be fun, friendly and passionate – and professional of course.
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  10. And finally… stay safe! It might seem silly to mention this to business-minded people but the hackers and naughty people love to steal passwords, identities, data etc…. you know the story!  Update your security information regularly and never share passwords.
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I use social media every day, so I’ve set myself the January challenge of reading Les Mis (in book form, not on Kindle). It’s my favourite show so I’m interested to see how the original text stacks up.

Let’s check back at the end of January and see how well we’ve both done…!

Wishing you a happy, successful, prosperous 2019!!

Nine tips for scheduling your social media

If you’re running a business, you’ll know that there’s not always time to stop what you’re doing to tweet or post on LinkedIn.  That’s why there are various tools available to help schedule your social media, ensuring your continued presence whatever you’re doing and wherever you are!

Hootsuite is my preferred platform – I like the easy-to-navigate dashboard and its straightforward scheduling system.  Other popular social media platforms include Tweetdeck, Buffer, Hubspot and SproutSocial – all have their pros and cons, and varying price plans, so it boils down to whichever one you feel most comfortable working with.

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Whichever you choose to use, these basic tips will help you get going…

  • A good social media dashboard will allow you to post simultaneously to Twitter, Facebook (business pages and personal profiles), LinkedIn (including business pages), Google+ and Instagram. Hootsuite does.
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  • Think about your wording before you share everywhere – what’s snappy on Twitter may be unprofessional for LinkedIn or not explanatory enough for Facebook.
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  • Allow yourself time to plan your content. On Hootsuite you can schedule a couple of hundred messages over the next few weeks; make yourself a coffee and spend time at the start creating a CSV spreadsheet, then update it regularly – and relatively quickly – to provide fresh content.
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  • Plan your timing; if you’re trying to attract clients from abroad, make sure your posts are going out in their working hours rather than yours.
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  • Your social feeds should include a mix of images, text, soft sales content that links back to your website, video – if you produce any, and topical news that’s relevant to your business and will interest your audience. Keep the salesy stuff to a minimum – aim to inform and educate rather than constantly bombarding people with a hard sell.
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  • You can repeat tweets on different days and at varying times, but I advise against repeating identical content on LinkedIn or Facebook. You can, however, refresh and re-use old content. It’s a good idea to make it relevant to something that’s going on in the news now.
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  • Review your social activity to see which posts people like the most, and schedule more of those. Hootsuite’s analytics are very clear and user-friendly.
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  • Don’t rely on pre-planned, scheduled posts; deliver a good mix of current and industry news too.
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  • Even if you’re scheduling in advance, stay engaged regularly in order to reply to other people’s queries or comments, and thank them for retweeting. And remember that all platforms are social – even LinkedIn – so retweet, like, share and comment on other people’s news too!

I’m here if you have any queries or need help to plan your social media. Happy scheduling!

The Business Show at ExCel: 14/15 November

The largest business exhibition in Europe hits London in November with over 25,000 visitors. I’ll be there at the heart of it to explain about social media marketing and training – both on my stand and as a seminar speaker.

     

I’ve never exhibited at a huge business show before – at least, not for social media marketing and training. I’ve visited many exhibitions – mainly food-related ones, especially if chocolate is involved – and jewellery, but that was in a past life: pre-Internet.

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In more recent times I’ve traipsed around business shows at ExCel and Olympia chatting to networking friends who are exhibiting, and I’ve met new contacts who’ve enticed me to leave my business card by offering some kind of delicious treat or the chance to win a prize.

I have joined clients on their stands at various trade shows to help with their marketing – that’s always great fun and highly rewarding.  And I’ve exhibited at smaller networking events, such as the YBC days in Spitalfields, where I also sit on a panel to answer questions about social media marketing.

But this is my first time alone at ExCel – the country’s largest auditorium!  So pop along to say hello – you’ll find me on my stand: YBC88, not far from the main entrance. I might well run a competition for people who stop by to say hello – all in compliance with GDPR, of course.

“The Biggest Business Event in Europe” is hailed as “Packed full of the very best speakers, features, innovations, education and opportunities in the business world; the event is dedicated to guiding startups, SMEs and large corporations on their business journey.”

You can register for free entry to the Business Show here.

Hope to see you there!

Tips for blending your business and personal Facebook profiles

Using social media in a personal context can still lead to business opportunities, if it’s handled sensibly. And nothing happens by chance, so we should always be prepared for someone to check us out online at any time.

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As an example, I recently met Ade, a celebrity events planner who has masqueraded around the homes of some top A-listers. We connected on LinkedIn, naturally, then – as we have a number of shared social contacts – he added me as a Facebook friend.

Now, I don’t keep my personal Facebook account particularly professional; this is my forum for staying in touch with friends and family.  It’s littered with art gallery pics, trips to the theatre, a few cat photos (yes, I am that crazy lady) and the occasional chocolate delight. My business Facebook page is the place for you to get social media and communication skills tips. Still, although Facebook is my social space, I try to avoid posting nonsense. After all, you never know when an international radio show producer will find you.

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Anyway, Ade invited me to join him at a recording of a London radio show for an Australian station, which is why I found myself in a quaint Bloomsbury theatre-cum-art gallery with an eclectic mix of British stage stars and recording artists – including Robbie Williams’ backing singer, the original female lead in the West End’s Phantom of the Opera and the legendary Freddie Mercury’s partner, Peter Straker.

But the masterpiece that blew me metaphorically to Melbourne and back was Aussie pianist Warren Wills, the radio show’s host, who belted out such an incredible Bowie compilation on the grand piano that goosebumps completed a Mexican wave all over my body. I didn’t tweet any of this at the time because I was glued there, mesmerised, but you can hear the performance on a podcast. Such nice people. Such enviable talent.

At the same event, the sister of one of my 80’s musical heroes approached me to help market her novel – a historical rhyming book that I haven’t yet read but will be downloading from Amazon before we meet next week to talk about a marketing campaign.

A second instance of a personal social media connection concerns another gallery and a different group of artists. My friend and colleague Martyn Royce took me to the launch of his summer exhibition at a contemporary gallery in Pall Mall. Momentarily standing alone to sip my champagne, a man started chatting to me, and – to cut an hour’s conversation into a snippet of a sentence – we ended up as Facebook friends.

Although he lives 150 miles away, social media showed that he was born in my town and – this was really quite unbelievable – he’d actually lived in my road and played with my neighbour as a child!  He’s now a leatherworker who does Viking re-enactments, demonstrating his craft at country shows up and down the UK; pretty cool.

A couple of days later I was at the V&A’s Frida Kahlo exhibition with my friend Caroline, coincidentally my neighbour’s sister – and she remembered him well. I’m putting them all in touch with each other as I write – multitasking at its best.

So, one week, two new Facebook friends, three galleries, a lot of fun and doors opening to new business opportunities.  Can’t be bad, eh?

Do remember though, your personal Facebook page shouldn’t be your business façade. Here are a few tips for managing it sensibly for business.

Top Tips

  • Only accept people as friends if you know them or can see a tangible connection.
  • If you want to keep business and social strictly separate, it’s absolutely fine – and not rude – to refer people to your business page and explain that you keep your personal profile for family and close friends.
  • Blend your personal and business pages when appropriate, share business updates and vice versa, but delineate the line between professional and fun.
  • Review your personal profile settings regularly to ensure only people you want to see your personal information can access it.
  • Avoid sharing negative personal updates. While some people use this tactic for engaging with friends, it’s not good practice if you’re hoping to be seen by current or future clients.
  • Don’t include ridiculous or drunken photos, swearing or anything else that falls into the realms of unprofessionalism.

Yell if you need any help with your Facebook presence!

Did Club 18-30 collapse due to ego-tourism – a social media trend?

You may have heard me interviewed this morning on BBC Radio 5 Live about the demise of Club 18-30 Holidays. The researcher that called asked about my opinion from a social media perspective, but the on-air discussion was more about our photo in the funny advertising brochure.

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The BBC found me via this four-year-old blog: Being quizzical, a specialist subject and Club 18-30 – not for the faint-hearted. I don’t remember the quiz mentioned in the blog but I certainly remember all the salient points of the 1984 trip to Ibiza!

Anna Foster, the morning show’s presenter, asked about the story leading up to my friend Gill and I  being photographed for the 18-30 brochure. She twice mentioned my social media business but, as the focus was on holiday memories, we didn’t get a chance to discuss my professional views live on air.

Club 18-30 is ending after a 50-year run, due to – according to its owner Thomas Cook – the preference for ‘ego-tourism,’ a term I hadn’t even heard of before.  Of course people want to look good on social media, but it’s not a mirror into people’s lives; it’s a reflection of what they want others to see.  Can the company really claim that people choose their holidays based on the fact they want other people to see what a fabulous place they’re in? Isn’t it more a case of simply wanting to be in that wonderful place precisely because it’s lovely and that’s where you want to be?

Naturally, I looked at Club 18-30’s social media before I chatted with the radio team. The business has a good following – 150,000 Facebook followers, yet the level of engagement is incredibly poor with hardly anyone liking posts or sharing the content. The brand is failing to engage with its target market, and this must surely be a larger contributing factor in its downfall than ego-tourism.

Anyway, my thanks for BBC5 for promoting me even though the talk show veered towards memories rather than business, and apologies to BBC4 who also called, but the timings clashed. How nice to be in demand by the national media – I thought my paparazzi days were over since my televised meeting with Prince William – but that’s another story!

What is legitimate interest? A plain English guide to this confusing topic

Are you GDPR’d out yet?

Last month, I explained my interpretation of ‘consent’ for GDPR.  The other reason many people will rely on for keeping in touch with their mailing list is “legitimate interest.”

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If you’re doing business with someone, you have a contract or you’re negotiating for one, legitimate interest definitely applies.  Consensus among the people I network with is that, if you have built your list from people you’ve met who know what you do and can reasonably expect to receive email about your business, this is a valid reason to stay in touch and can be classed as a legitimate interest. Do you agree?

Again, I recommend Suzanne Dibble’s super video collection for anyone who is uncertain about any aspect of GDPR, and some of the following information is taken from her marketing video. She suggests that, unless any e-privacy laws, ethics or industry standards are broken, in most cases direct marketing can be classed as a legitimate interest.  (There are some caveats.)

The key questions to ask yourself are:

  • Is the way you use people’s data ‘proportionate, with minimal privacy impact and people wouldn’t be surprised to receive it from you?
  • Could people reasonably expect to receive this information from you?
  • Have you worked through the “Three stage test?” This includes assessing the purpose for emailing them, ensuring it’s necessary for the purpose, and filling in a ‘balancing form’ to show whether the legitimate interest is overridden by the person’s rights or freedom. Also, did you keep a record of your ‘legitimate interest outcome’?
  • Can they opt out of receiving your emails? (If you use Mailchimp, as I do, there’s always been an unsubscribe button.)
  • Is your privacy policy lovely and clear?
  • Are people likely to object to receiving your email? And further – are they likely to object if you explained your reasoning to them? If the answer’s yes, you can’t count on legitimate interest.
  • Is whatever you’re sending likely to cause them harm? (The example Suzanne Dibble uses is people in debt receiving regular targeted emails from loan sharks or gambling websites, which can have a “significant negative effect.” If the answer’s yes, you can’t do it.)

Please note that, apparently, the ICO says that you shouldn’t rely on legitimate interest just because it seems easier to apply than consent.

That’s all I’m covering on GDPR now – and hopefully forever! Please remember that this is my own interpretation of legitimate interest; it doesn’t mean I’m correct, but I’m offering it as food for thought – or rather, fodder for further research if you think it will work for you.

So how are you deciding which legal basis to use in future? Will it be legitimate interest, consent or one of the other options?

Ten tips for using Social Media responsibly for your business

Of course, it goes without saying that social media is an excellent way to market your business. Many owners of small businesses (including me!) mix their professional and personal social media. It’s worth keeping in mind that one person’s lively banter could be seen as offensive to someone else. So, here are ten tips to keep you and your business out of trouble…

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  1. Social media can blur the boundary between your public and professional lives; stay aware of your personal image and how it may impact on your professional standing.
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  2. Anything you post can become a permanent record, there forever to be referred to, shared and re-shared beyond your control. Remember that there’s no such thing as a safe throwaway comment on social media.
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  3. Compromising photos may reflect badly on your business, even if you didn’t take or post the photo. Keep an eye on who’s posting what if you’re involved in any shenanigans!
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  4. Don’t forget that comments made in a personal capacity can bounce back to bite you, your business and, possibly, your whole industry.
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  5. Know how to adjust your privacy settings to keep personal stuff personal.
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  6. Think about your ethical and legal duty to protect other people’s confidentiality.
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  7. Beware of posting informal, personal or derogatory comments about anyone on your professional social media. Aside from it being rude, you don’t want to risk opening yourself to defamation and libel laws if your words are construed as unlawful. (Defamation law can apply to any comments posted on the web made in either a personal or professional capacity.)
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  8. If you come across comments made by others on social media that you find irritating, offensive or just plain wrong, think carefully before responding. Commenting will increase the visibility of the original comment and if other people jump onboard, the whole conversation can grow exponentially.
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  9. Without facial expressions or body language, it can be easy for people to misconstrue the meaning of your words in written social media. You and I might think something’s funny, but someone else could view it as sarcasm or rudeness.
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  10. Aim to be consistent across social media. If you present yourself very differently on LinkedIn and Facebook, it’s possible that people might question your business integrity.
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Social media has always been an overwhelming minefield, but with the GDPR data protection laws all around it’s better to be just a touch more vigilant than before. Feel free to drop me an email if you need help with anything social media-related.

GDPR consent – a plain English interpretation for email marketing and social media

“Four things you must do, four things to avoid, and six tips to make your life easier.”

Since I sent you my ‘GDPR in plain English; 10 steps to take now,’ I’ve spent a good deal of time on webinars, in chatrooms and at expert panels, where some very smart people have presented their own interpretations of what GDPR really means to us small business owners.

But the truth is, it’s still a greyish area. Maybe not an infamous 50 shades, but certainly enough hues to confuse an awful lot of people.  The guidance is quite clear; how to put it into practice somewhat less so…

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There are six lawful reasons for ‘processing personal data’ – in other words, storing information and emailing people. In reality, for most people reading this, only two reasons are likely to apply:

  • Legitimate interest; and
  • Consent

Let’s focus on consent, because what we believe to be consent isn’t necessarily recognised as consent under the new law. Here are four things you must do, four things to avoid, and six tips to make your life easier.

You must:

  • Gain clear re-consent to email everyone on your mailing list. This means ‘affirmative action’ on their part. We can’t simply assume it’s okay to continue emailing them because they haven’t told us otherwise.
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  • Gain consent to email new people. We can’t work on the presumption that a business card swap at a networking lunch implies agreement to join a mailing list.
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  • Keep a clear record of when and why each person gave their consent. This includes recording how they “signed up,” what you told them you’d do with their data and what your privacy policy was on that date. I’ll be keeping a simple Excel spreadsheet from now on and hoping that’s sufficient.
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  • Have an up-to-date privacy policy that is clearly accessible on your website, not hidden in the footer. (Mine’s still in the footer…)

You can’t:

  • Keep anyone’s personal data after May 25th if they haven’t agreed to it (unless one of the other reasons applies – such as legitimate interest or contract). You have to delete it! Yes, I know… all those years of carefully cultivating an email list.
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  • Collect people’s information without a good reason. And only ask for what you need – don’t try to find out ‘sensitive data’ like date of birth, dress size, skin colour or who they fancy – unless you can absolutely justify why you need this information.
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  • Email people for any reason other than what you’ve agreed with them. So you might hope to raise extra money for charity by emailing your business list to let them know you’re doing a sponsored parachute jump – and chances are no one will report you for this – but it’s not allowed under the new rules. Likewise, you can’t take someone’s email to send them a free gift then add them to a mailing list for marketing. This applies to social media marketing too – so there should be no more signing up for anything via Facebook then receiving unrelated emails from the same company or an associated one.
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  • Ignore the law. Lots of people are poo-pooing the extortionate fines being quoted – after all, would the ICO really bankrupt a small business owner for sending an email to someone who hadn’t agreed? Of course not, but the aggravation of a potential investigation is surely not worth it.

There are various things you can do to make the transition into GDPR-compliancy easier for yourself.

These six tips should make the process easier!

  1. Add a clearly worded Privacy Policy to your website. Make sure it’s written in plain English and addresses all the points necessary to make it GDPR compliant.
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  2. Audit your sign-up process. Check the way you add people to your mailing list – through a website sign-up form, via a Facebook promotion, from business cards, from a ‘pop your card in this jar to win a bottle of champagne’ scheme. Then ensure the way you add them moving forward complies with the law.
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  3. Watch a brilliant two-hour webinar with a specialist GDPR lawyer named Suzanne Dibble here. She worked for Richard Branson to set up Virgin’s data protection compliance and she runs a very useful Facebook group. (I’ve seen the video – she also has many short videos on various different GDPR-related topics.) There’s a link to a useful GDPR checklist too.
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  4. Buy Suzanne’s legal document pack. (I haven’t done this but I’ve seen many recommendations for it on Facebook.) This includes a standard privacy policy.
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  5. Remember that it’s about being reasonable. Could someone ‘reasonably’ expect to receive email from you? If in doubt, leave them out.
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  6. Reframe the whole ‘losing loads of subscribers’ issue in your mind. View it as an opportunity to clean up your mailing list. Having fewer people on your list can actually be helpful as you’ll have better open and engagement rates, which means more of your emails will land in people’s inboxes and fewer will go into their trash.

I’ve used the word interpretation in my heading as that’s what this is – my interpretation of it, based on hours of research and my ability to quickly sift through mounds of conflicting information to find the linguistic diamond in the sand.

So, just to get my own little beachball rolling, if you’d like to stay subscribed to my mailing list to receive social media tips – or you’d like to sign-up now, please leave your name and email in the sign up box below.

You can unsubscribe at any time, of course.  On a final note, signing up confirms that you’ve read and understand our privacy and cookies policy. Thanks!

I hope these notes are helpful. Please tell me if you’d like to know more about the ‘Legitimate Interest’ basis for processing personal data and I’ll cover that next time.