March 24, 2011Are political tweets damaging your online reputation?

I used to avoid Twitter because I can’t stand mobs of any kind. I’m no more keen on flash mobs than I am on lynch mobs, and at times, Twitter has seemed like both — a place for people to club together in self-righteousness and club down other people whose opinions they disagree with. As one commentator said, “Most Twitter users like to think of themselves as better than Daily Mail readers. [Their moblike] behaviour doesn’t chime well with that.”

And so to politics. For some reason, it’s socially acceptable to tweet regularly about politics, even when it has …

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February 12, 2011Social Media for Complete Beginners – Part 2

Why do you need social media?

I suppose I should start at the start: with an explanation of exactly why you should be using social media. It doesn’t matter what you do: if your business in any way relies on web traffic, and, specifically, your organic page rank in Google, you need to be using social media.

Why? Because Google changed the rules.

I set up my own business as a freelance copywriter at around the time when core SEO strategy was to have a good site, with lots of keywords and information, and a regularly-updated, keyword rich blog that …

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February 7, 2011Social Media for Complete Beginners – Part 1

It’s London Social Media Week, a 5 day series of events, panel discussions and seminars on social media — how to monetize it, and how to take advantage of it. I thought about dropping in on a couple of seminars and reporting back to you. Then I realised two things:

1) half a dozen other people will be doing the same thing, and at least one of them will be doing it better than me, and
2) I’m not a “social media type”. I don’t tweet, I’m a reluctant user of Facebook, and my tumblr doesn’t have one single …

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February 1, 2011Big Louise: Why we get lonely without social media

Has a song ever made you feel sad? Lonely? Depressed? Of course it has. But has a song ever made you feel sorry for someone else? You tell me.

I’m a big Scott Walker fan. Scott’s a cult singer who started out as a 60s pop crooner who gradually evolved into an experimental noisemaker by way of the dark, lyrical lounge music of Jacques Brel. Imagine if Frank Sinatra got a gig in Vegas and went from playing crowd pleasers to crooning deep numbers about call girls, death and torture, before finally just deciding to pummel a side of meat …

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December 2, 2010Information Overload

I hate to break it to you, folks — but social media isn’t social. “Social media” is a buzzword. “Social” is something that really happens, really takes place in real time. It’s social to go out for a drink or a meal with friends. It’s social to call someone up on the phone and see how they’re doing. It’s social to have a kick around in the park with your friends on a Saturday or go bowling in the evening. And if you can’t tell the difference between that and an instant message I feel very sorry for you.


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October 13, 2010Facebook and Bing plan to make search social – should you be worried?

It’s likely the majority — or at least a significant amount — of your traffic comes from organic search. That being the case, you’ll probably already know all about SEO (search engine optimization) and how important it is to your business. After all, if you’ve done your research and you’re on the front page for your chosen keywords, you can pretty much guarantee a steady stream of traffic and customers. Similarly, “long tail” searches for specific phrases can generate a surprising amount of traffic from people who know exactly what they want.

Can good search engine results be crowdsourced? Bing

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September 6, 2010Does an advert have to be good to be effective?

What makes an effective ad campaign — and can these principles be applied to social media?

It’s impossible to avoid being bombarded with advertising in London. As a copywriter working in London, it’s even harder to not stop and take notice. Like a surgeon holding his knife like a scalpel and listlessly cutting into his Sunday roast, it’s hard for a copywriter to avoid dissecting other people’s work.

I see thousands of posters every morning. Sometimes the copy is good, sometimes it’s very bad. Sometimes it’s short and sometimes it’s long. Sometimes, I’m only looking at an idea, three words, …

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August 3, 2010Buzzword Bingo: Social Media Edition

The cat’s out of the bag. For a couple of years now, I’ve been writing a lot about social media. Not here, (although I do blog about social media fairly regularly), but in my day job as a copywriter. I mostly produce content for the web and the web right now is all about… you’ve got it, social media. The problem is, as I’ve expressed before, social media is the Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s how SEO was a few years ago — a lot of people portraying themselves as experts, with very few people knowing what they’re actually talking about. …

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August 1, 2010Managing your online reputation

So, it’s finally happened. Now, there’s specialist companies claiming to be capable of giving you an ‘online detox’, cleansing your online reputation — getting rid of those nasty photos of you, drunk, on Facebook, cleaning up the vindictive messages left on some blog by your ex. More importantly, these companies claim to offer the ability to manage the reputation of your brand or business, “burying the damaging stuff and promoting the good.”

So how does it work?

Well, it’s a little like reverse SEO. Where a page or a comment can’t be deleted, it can be buried. SEO tactics can …

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May 15, 2010Facebook isn’t cool any more

I briefly touched on Facebook privacy issues in my last post, mentioning that I’d stripped all information out of my profile in response to my growing concerns about Facebook’s constant push to share more information publicly.

Facebook isn't cool any moreThere are a lot of so-called “social media experts” out there. The truth is there is no such thing. The majority of “social media experts” are simply people with regularly updated twitter feeds, a lot of friends on facebook they don’t really know, constantly bombarding you with requests to “like” their public page, which if you do will lead to further bombardment in …

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