Social Media and Wellbeing- how to maintain a healthy relationship

With Social Media literally at our fingertips now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it can impact our mood. Many of us are guilty of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at any given opportunity, immersing ourselves in our newsfeeds, rather than focusing on our what’s actually going on around us. Where we would once people watch while waiting for a train or carry a book around with us as a boredom buster, it seems that we now instinctively reach for our phones and press one of those colourful little apps.

 

Is this necessarily a bad thing? I don’t think so. It’s another form of evolution and as long as we are still communicating with each other and appreciating the world around us, does it really matter how this is done? Many of us are now inspired to take a snap of something that interests us and share it on Instagram for the world to appreciate and keeping in touch with loved ones all over the world is easier than it’s ever been, thanks to social media.

 

Maintaining a healthy relationship with social media is the key to ensuring that it doesn’t negatively affect our wellbeing so here are 5 ways that you can enjoy scrolling without allowing it impact your mental health.

 

Try not to collect friends – It’s very easy to accept every friend request that comes your way but having thousands of “friends” that you don’t actually know may cause your newsfeed to be clogged up with posts that aren’t of any real interest to you. By keeping your friends list to just your real life friends and family your newsfeed is going to have much more meaningful content, and surely you’d rather see pictures of your cousin’s new puppy than some stranger in America’s amazing weight loss using “miracle” pills that you are pretty sure aren’t even legal!! This goes for celebrities too! Think about who you follow on Instagram and Twitter and ask yourself ‘ does their content leave you feeling positive?’ if it doesn’t it may be time to unfollow!

 

Be mindful of what you are posting – Some social media sites are great tools for documenting your day; such as Twitter and stories but be mindful about what you do share…. Do people really need to know about your anger or hatred for someone? Or that your neighbours are screaming at each other in the street? Probably not. It may feel quite cathartic at the time but think carefully about how that would make others feel or how people will perceive you. By making it a habit to only post meaningful content you are contributing to a more positive online environment, so consider sharing heartwarming, funny or thought provoking posts instead. If in doubt, everyone loves a cat video!

 

Take what you read with a pinch of salt – Comparing your life with what you are seeing on social media is a sure fire way to bring yourself down so it’s important to remember that there will always be people that exaggerate how great (or bad) their life really is. We’ve all got friends that seem to post incredible holiday pictures on a monthly basis, leaving everyone else wondering how they can afford it or if they actually have a day job. On the flip side, there are those that over-share their dirty laundry, keeping it just vague enough that someone will leave a comment pressing for more information. Endless holiday pics are definitely better than the latter, in my opinion, but keep in mind that this person is being selective about what parts of their life they want their social media friends to see. It doesn’t mean they are doing better in life, are more successful or necessarily better off in any way, it just means you are seeing the parts of their life that they are happy to share – and that’s ok.

 

Try to log off at least once a day – Make a habit of putting the phone away and closing your laptop at least once or twice a day to enjoy a bit of time away from the temptation of social media. Take an hour to read a book, get some fresh air or spend time with a loved one and, most importantly, be completely focused on that activity. When you are with a person give them the courtesy of not constantly checking your notifications and, better still, switch those notifications off if you know they are going to be distracting.

 

Having a healthy relationship with social media doesn’t necessarily mean having to close down your accounts or delete the apps from your phone but when you are scrolling through your newsfeeds ask yourself if you are enjoying what you are seeing. If the answer is “not really” then put the phone away and do something else and remember to keep things in perspective.

A Successful Safer Internet Day

Social media is a subject which seems to divide a lot of opinion. Some people think it’s brilliant because they have used it to expand their business, some believe it’s a waste of time or only for the ‘shallow Instagram generation’ and others are intimidated by it and the potential dangers it could pose to their children. After all, there are an overwhelming amount of social media websites popping up now, which makes it difficult to keep up with all the privacy settings, child-friendly versions and parental controls available.

 

Education, at school and at home, is one of the most important things when it comes to online safety. This is why we teamed up with Kathryn Price, owner and founder of KSPTechCare, to deliver an assembly on Safer Internet Day about things that children should be aware of when going online.

 

At the start of the assembly, we asked the children how many of them own a mobile phone and the majority of the room raised their hands. After we found out how many young people own a mobile, we informed them about how to use “the little computers in their pockets” safely. Kathryn and I explained why passcodes on phones should only be known by them and their parents/guardians and made it clear that “if you send a nasty message to somebody that’s the same as bullying face to face”.

 

After we had finished giving the presentation, we were pleased to hear lots of questions from the children. Some of these included:

 

  • “What happens when a stranger picks up your phone and takes it?”
  • “What does the emergency button on your phone do?”
  • “Could you tell people where your address is? I don’t think you should but I’m not sure”
  • “Can people hack into your phone?”
  • “Can you fight hackers on your phone?”

 

The main thing that we took away from these questions, is that different children have different levels of understanding about technology, which is why education is so important. Teaching children about online safety is most effective when teachers and parents work together. Therefore, we sponsored the ‘Caught in the Web’ booklet, which was given to children at the end of the assembly. The book contains a story about internet safety and online safety quizzes and activities for children to complete with their parents, reinforcing the messages we communicated in the assembly.

 

We had a great afternoon teaching children about online safety. If you would like to continue the conversation with your child, then have a look at our blog post on internet safety for parents and businesses. We have also been sharing useful articles and teaching resources on our Twitter and Facebook channels, with videos on privacy settings, which are helpful for anyone wanting to keep their private information from becoming public knowledge.

Internet Safety Tips for Parents and Businesses

It’s Safer Internet Day on 5th February 2019 and this year we’ve pulled together some top internet safety tips for both parents and businesses.

5 Top Tips for businesses to stay safe online

Change your passwords

Make sure you change your passwords regularly and be aware of who has access. If employees leave – and it’s likely they managed the social media from their phones be sure to revoke their access – which can be managed in the security settings of each app.

Log out

This one might seem obvious, but it’s a mistake that a lot of people make, both on their personal and business accounts. It’s easier to leave all your sites open on web browsers but this leaves you open to hackers. Always log out of accounts once you’ve finished using them.

Try not to use public wifi

When using public wifi networks you are left vulnerable to a cyber attack. Surprisingly, using 4G on your mobile is actually more secure than connecting to public wifi. If you are self-employed and often work in public spaces, then click here to find out how to protect yourself from hackers while connecting to public wifi networks.

Familiarise yourself with security settings

Security settings are there for a reason and they’re really helpful! Regularly review them and familiarise yourself with the variety of options available on each platform.

Employee training

Take responsibility for training your staff on how to use social media safely (both personally and professionally). Have a policy in place about the use of social media for both work and non work related purposes. If you would like guidance and support for both training and policy writing please get in touch.

Top 5 Internet Safety Tips for Parents:

Discuss internet safety

The most important thing about protecting children online is to understand how much they already know about systems in place to prevent cyber attacks and online bullying. You can then identify what areas of internet safety you need to talk to them about. The Safer Internet Day website has some helpful resources on how to initiate a conversation with your child about online safety and fun quizzes for 8-13 year olds to test their internet knowledge.

Set up parental controls

Parental controls are an important part of keeping your child safe online. They block websites that you believe to be inappropriate for your child and you can also use them to limit the amount of time that your children spend on the internet.

Use child-safe versions of search engines and popular websites

There are several search engines that are designed specifically for children. These search engines allow them the freedom to use the internet for educational purposes, without the risk of seeing web pages that aren’t appropriate for their age group. Popular social media website YouTube has a child-friendly version, which is a useful function, but isn’t perfect, so it is best to monitor what your child is looking at online, even when the child-friendly versions of websites are being used.

Be share aware

Encourage your children to ask for permission when they are sharing photos of friends and family online. Make sure that they know what kind of information they should and shouldn’t be sharing on social media platforms. This avoids any personal details ending up on the internet. Encourage them to only accept Facebook friend requests from people they know and set public accounts like Twitter and Instagram to private. For information on how to do this, keep an eye out for an upcoming video on the Naturally Social Twitter page.

Cyberbullying

Make children aware of what cyberbullying looks like and how to block and report anyone online who is posting hurtful or upsetting content. Encourage them to report any cyberbullying they see, even if it is not aimed at them and reassure them that reporting someone to social networking websites is anonymous.

 

We hope that our online safety tips have been useful and are a start to helping you, your children and your business stay safe online. If we can be of help further then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Top Ten Free Social Media Resources

Do you want to improve your business’ social media presence without having to use expensive tools? We get it. That’s why we’ve created this post on our ‘Top Ten Free Social Media Resources’. Happy posting!

Scheduling

  • TweetDeck (and other in-website tools) are a brilliant platform for any business whose sole platform is Twitter. You won’t need to spend money on websites like Hootsuite for scheduling content across multiple channels as you have everything you need for your main social channel. With TweetDeck, you can schedule tweets and check your reach and engagements alongside Twitter Analytics, which are linked within TweetDeck.
  • ColorStory is an app which you can use to edit your Instagram photos and schedule content. It is very easy to use and, as it’s an app, can be done on the go, allowing you to make best use of those little pockets of time in your day.

News and social listening

  • Social Media Examiner is a good website if you’re not sure where to start with social media. They have free reports on how social channels are being used, articles on how to get the best out of social media for your business and a podcast for learning on the go.
  • Google alerts are an easy way of keeping up to date with news in your industry. You can easily set an alert for a key word or phrase and get notified when content appears on Google with this phrase in it.

Photos

  • With Canva you can edit photos to add a quote over them, which is great if you want to post a testimonial or inspirational quote. You can adjust the size of your image to fit a Twitter header or a Facebook post with an image attached. You can also create a flyer, blog banner, or a presentation.
  • Pixabay have copyright free pictures that you can use in your marketing and social media.

Blog and email marketing

  • MailChimp can be used to gather your email subscribers and market to them with flyers and newsletters. MailChimp makes the mail merge a lot easier, allowing you to create lists of contacts and personalise them to a specific receiver- just be careful about GDPR and always get permission to use someone’s email address.
  • WordPress is a blogging platform and a great website builder that is easy to use. Blogging is a good way of keeping your current and potential clients up to date with any news and updates without bombarding them with emails and content. Your blog can also be shared across your other platforms, either in your ‘bio’ or in a post. Updating content on your website is key for SEO too.

Videos

  • iMovie- if you have an iPhone, then this one is for you. You can combine photos and videos to create unique content for your channels, which is great if you have a video shy team! Photos can be put together in a slide show and are categorised as a video, which the Facebook algorithms value more than pictures.
  • Splice is an app that adds music to videos, which is a fun way to make your Instagram posts more engaging. You could even combine your iMovie photo slideshow with music from Splice.

Job Opportunity: PR, Social and Community Manager

Naturally Social is a social-first communications agency with a difference. Shaping what we do is our strong sense of purpose and our passion for people. Our success is measured by our impact, both in terms of the results we deliver for our clients, and our impact on the individuals, communities and society around us. Due to continued growth, we’re looking for a creative communicator to join the team and play a key role in our future development.
Whilst social-media led, we provide a holistic marketing service, working as a team sharing expertise to generate creative, impactful multi-channel campaigns that build brand awareness. We support a wide variety of clients, including private and public-sector organisations and charities, from small owner-managed firms to larger businesses. Therefore, to be successful in this new role, you will have a track record using your creative flair to develop attention grabbing content for a wide variety of industry sectors, adapting your tone and approach to different audiences.
Whether you are a marketing generalist, PR specialist or content marketer, you will have proven experience of integrating social media effectively into your communications campaigns.
Our team members thrive on communicating! We want you to help us put the “social” back into social media, focusing on starting conversations and building connections between people and communities, rather than automating activity. As well as creating engaging content, you’ll also have the opportunity to engage with existing and prospective customers through attending meetings, networking events and conferences. Your confident, friendly personality and inclusive approach will help you to connect with people from a variety of backgrounds. Building effective long-term relationships with your portfolio of clients will enable you to maximise repeat business and work at a more strategic level with organisations on their longer-term marketing plans.
Naturally Social also helps small businesses and in-house teams to improve their own social media capabilities, so any experience of delivering coaching sessions, workshops or training courses would be advantageous.
You will need the ability to inspire and develop junior team members, as well as supervise freelance professionals to deliver work on time to the required standards.
2018 was an exceptional year for Naturally Social. We won at the Wiltshire and Swindon Business Awards, delivered some outstanding campaigns for our clients and our founder became an accredited trainer for Facebook and Instagram. We also gave back to the community by sponsoring awards, providing intern placements and delivered pro bono work where possible. 2019 promises to be no less exciting so if you share our business ethics and passion and have relevant experience and qualifications, make your next career move with Naturally Social!

Location: Trowbridge

Hours: 18 – 20 hours per week

Salary: £21,000 to £23,000 PA depending on experience


For full job spec and to apply, please send your CV and covering letter to natalie@naturallysocial.co.uk by 5pm 11th February 2019.

Intern Blog: The First Month

Interning at Naturally Social has been a great first opportunity after graduating and I already feel like I’ve learnt so much since I started in December. I have received a lot of support and training, including sales and PR courses which have taught me skills that I can apply, not just to my role at Naturally Social, but also to every day tasks.

The sales course taught me that everyone has different ways they want to be sold to- one of the main points was not to treat someone how you’d want to be treated, treat them how they want to be treated- this is what gets sales. The main takeaway from the PR course was that ‘marketing is telling people how great your product/business is. PR is getting other people to tell them.’ My top tip for getting PR coverage would be to get the whole story in the first paragraph, so the press and the public know exactly what it is you’re doing in a short space of time. My tip for writing a press release is to put the contact information somewhere in the middle of the article so it won’t get cut out by the editor, like it would if it was at the end. It has been great to network with the other people attending the courses and hear their business stories and advice they have for someone who is in the first stages of building a career.

One of the things I’m really enjoying about the internship is that every day is different and there’s always a lot to do. A great example of this is when, on my first day, I went to BBC radio studios in Swindon with Natalie while she did an interview with them about various topics that were in the news. After the interview, we got a tour of the studios, which was interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes.

More recently, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a Women Mean Biz networking event where I got to talk to lots of incredibly hard-working women who are building their businesses. There were presentations from two people about their businesses and it was encouraging to hear about how women in male dominated industries (IT and insurance) have succeeded in their careers. These women used their experiences to improve the industries they’re in and make positive changes for other women. I was also pleasantly surprised by how many people had built up businesses with the aim of helping others- one of the main reasons why I wanted to intern for Naturally Social is because the company has a ‘purpose before profit’ ethos and is focused on positively benefiting the local community. It was great to see that lots of other people also have that mindset.

A big part of Naturally Social’s business is training courses and I have been able to observe how Natalie delivers these. Attending the courses has been really helpful for me to see how a business can make the most of its social channels and how techniques for social media can be explained in a way that is easy to understand. Some key social media techniques for business are:

  • Schedule some content for a better work/life balance.
  • Have a progress tracker for all your social media channels to help evaluate what’s working.
  • Follow up on client engagements- be social!
  • Keep an eye on your audience insights because these will tell you when you should be posting to get the best engagement and conversion rates.

What I like most about the workshops is seeing the difference in clients’ attitudes at the end of the training session, compared to at the beginning. Before Natalie delivers the training, people often seem overwhelmed and apprehensive, thinking that social media is confusing and not for them. After the courses, clients are so much more positive and confident. They go away full of great ideas and really are excited to put what they have learnt into practice. It’s incredibly rewarding seeing the positive impact that Naturally Social has on people and this has been my favourite part of working here so far.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the coming months will bring and I will keep you updated with what we get up to on the blog.

Safer Internet Day Sponsored by Local Businesses

Year 5 and 6 children in Southwick Primary School in Trowbridge are set to hear internet safety tips during a special assembly on Safer Internet Day 2019. Delivered by local business owners Natalie Sherman of social media agency, Naturally Social and Kathryn Price from technological support firm, KSPTechCare, Safer Internet Day is a national initiative that helps to “inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.”

When change is the only constant within today’s tech savvy community, it’s difficult to know how to keep your children safe online. 71% of young people claim social media platforms do not do enough to prevent cyber bullying.

Natalie says, “I’m really excited to be talking to students about online safety – a cause which is really important to me. It’s statistically proven that educated young people use the internet in a safe and productive way so it’s really important these conversations happen.”

Additionally, Natalie and Kathryn have sponsored the ‘Caught in the Web’ children’s and parent’s booklet, produced by The Police Community Clubs of Great Britain. Each student will receive their own copy on the day.

“We are thrilled to have sponsored this booklet! Cyber security, internet bullying and identity fraud are all covered, so it’s very informative”, says Kathryn.

The booklet uses an entertaining story to communicate about online dangers. It also contains activities for parents to test their children’s knowledge and additional safety information.

(If this is something that your child’s school would be interested in, please get in touch.)

7 Tips to boost your profile on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the home of professional social media networking and it exists to connect professionals – but with billions of users flooding the network, how can you make sure your profile stands out?

While you may not be looking for a new job opportunity it is important to keep your profile up to date and that you keep connecting with those you interact with – it’s always good to be able to showcase to your current employer just how valuable an asset you are, considering they’re most likely keeping their profile up to date too.

Here we’ve identified some top tips and helpful information so that you can tailor your LinkedIn profile so it works in the most effective and efficient way.

  1. Steer clear of politics and religion – you wouldn’t discuss these in the pub or at an interview and these topics also have no place on LinkedIn.
  2. Headline your skills not your current job – your LinkedIn headline is what affects the SEO results, so highlight your skills not your place of work to make sure your profile comes up.
  3. Keep your work history to the most relevant jobs – make your skill sets, knowledge base and experience abundantly clear to any potential employers so they know what you’re capable of.
  4. Recommendations are more powerful than endorsements – people visiting your profile will often read your recommendations so encourage others to wax lyrical about your skills and what it’s really like to work with you.
  5. Share your success stories – the most engaging posts on LinkedIn are those of personal success, accolades and awards, your profile is your platform so remember to blow your own trumpet.
  6. Hashtags are back, use them – maximise the exposure of your content by using relevant hashtags. This will ensure your content will still appear and be found when LinkedIn users categorised, organise and filter content.
  7. Become a Power User – once you’ve made 500 connections you become a ‘power user’. This means your content appears in more feeds because LinkedIn’s algorithms favour you and your content!

Utilise your connections, make the most of your third-party relationships and get your content seen as well as increase your profile visibility.

If you’re struggling to make sense of LinkedIn or to get your profile noticed, Naturally Social offer 1:1 and team workshops, contact us to find out more.

10 Top tips for raising your social media profile in 2019

As December fast approaches I know many of you will either be A) running around like a crazy person ‘In the business’ or B) beginning to wind down ahead of Christmas.
Either way, working ‘On the business’ may get parked for a bit.
Now is the ideal time to start looking ahead and planning what you need to grow, develop and improve in the New Year and when you do that, you’ll have a structured picture of what you need to implement. Now, it’s likely Social Media will appear on that list in some shape or another so with that in mind, and to mark the start of Social Media Week in London, we wanted to share our top 10 tips for raising your social media profile in 2019:
1. Create Video –  all social media channels are placing bigger emphasis on video so think about how you can integrate it in to your content.
2. See social as a customer service channel – outstanding customer service should be a key focus for any business. Social media is one of the best places you can deliver on that. No matter if you’re B2B or B2C
3. Don’t over schedule – whilst automation software sells the ideal of saving you time, be mindful that this can often be at the sacrifice of genuine engagement, real time communication and creativity (all the things that will help you stand out)
4. Engage – Social media can’t be a tick the box exercise. You have to invest time to listen and respond.
5. Have a strategy – So many businesses set off on their social media journey without a strategy and they can often end up frustrated and lost. Having a strategy will help you to see where you want to get to and will map out how you’re going to get there.
6. Be creative –  With so much content online you have to work hard at making your content pop. Use new features and adopt new tools quicker than your competitors in order to succeed.
7. Invest in training – even if your youngest staff members are responsible. Using any platform in you personal life is different to using it for a business and as the MD/CEO or Founder it’s important you understand what makes good social and how to hold staff or freelancers accountable
8. Factor in a budget for paid adverts – I don’t believe paid is an absolute necessity of every strategy but if you want to achieve your goals quicker then it’s part of the winning formula
9. Consider partnerships – influencer marketing has been a buzz word this year but it highlights the effectiveness of tapping in to other people’s communities.
10. Promote your channels – your social media channels are as important as your website. Actively tell people where they can find you.
If social media does appear on that list to improve or develop next year or if you need help with implementing any of our top tips, then we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch with us today.

Building a YouTube channel

10 Tips If You’re Starting Out on YouTube

Our intern Will spent the summer working on video content for one of our clients’ YouTube channels, during this process I asked him to research and document some top tips to increase engagement and grow an audience on the platform.

These are not all quick fixes but more of a long-term strategy for you to implement. These tips will help build a YouTube channel, encourage engagement, grow your audience and make the most of your content.

One key thing you can do straight away, for better engagement, is make your own thumbnail for the start of the video, use this alongside a standout graphic or punchy title and people will click on your video straight away, the next challenge is to keep them watching!

Will’s Top 10 Tips

  1. Video Quality – Make sure the video is good quality, if it’s not people will not stay on your channel. You may still receive good viewer statistics but your watch time will be significantly lower than it should be.
  2. Sound quality Sound is 50% of your video so make sure the quality is good and people can hear what you are saying.
  3. Shareability – Is the content useful? Will people share with others via social media? This is the best way to get extra views. Some great examples of high performing content worth sharing are ‘How to’ videos and ‘Inside looks’.
  4. Discoverability – How will your videos get seen? By latching on to trending topics your video will become current and of the moment, or by talking about evergreen topics your video will have better longevity.
  5. Sustainability – Can your channel be sustainable? is there enough content to talk about for future videos. Also do you have the time to make the videos? By filming multiple videos on the same day and then scheduling them for the next few weeks you can save yourself time and energy.
  6. Accessibility – Can every episode be understood without watching the whole series? This is key as it allows new viewers to understand any video you have published. By collaborating with other YouTubers you can build a bigger audience through a mutually beneficial trade, such as guest appearing or reviewing their channel in one of your videos.
  7. Conversation Speak directly to the viewer and look into the camera so the audience is engaged with you through eye contact, even if you are conducting an interview look into the camera, every once in a while, to add a layer of engagement. 
  8. Interaction – Involve the audience in your videos, ask a question that they can reply to in the comments. Also, you can use this to find out what your viewers are enjoying most in your videos.
  9. Consistency is key – Who is the face of your channel?  People will get to know the brand through one or two key people. Also think about using the same introduction segment, thumbnail style and tag lines as this allows the viewer to get to know the order of your show. Posting at regular intervals and times also builds consistency.
  10. Targeting – Who is your audience and what do they want to see more of? What do they search for? People often want to go for a wider audience, but it’s better to find a niche audience who will come back to view your content again and again.

These were Will’s top 10 tips for starting out on YouTube but there are plenty of other things you also need to consider and YouTube Creators is a great place to obtain even more information about effectively starting a channel.

I hope this will help you on your YouTube journey, if you’ve any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch as Naturally Social offer 1:1 and team workshops and we can help you on your way.