We've managed over eleven years without, but the time has finally come. Social Results has a PDF of its very own.
It's a quick overview of what we do, who we've done it for.
Most importantly shows how we could be a great match for other organisations, and individuals, looking for some ethical, creative and measurable communications and community management services.
Scroll through and see what we've been up to. We have unique experience, and an enthusiasm you won't find anywhere else.
You can also find a copy on the Social Results page on the ISSUU website as well. ISSUU is a great place for large, or print and brochure heavy organisations to host their content, as whilst it comes at a price the additional article generating services and analytics are great.
We know that there's much debate about PDF usage, so we can provide you with detailed information about the best ways to ensure that your documents are seen, and you have ways to prove it. Don't let great content go to waste, make it earn back the time and energy you put into it.
Oh, and if you like to download PDFs direct there's a handy button here too.
Did you read that right?
Yes, I feel it's time for an intervention for anyone who is chronically online, or simply trying to work out where everyone is.
As the platform currently in the superposition of being both Twitter and X continues on its erratic spiral many people are feeling very discombobulated, others distraught, and many completely bewildered by the new array of options.
There's Mastodon, Bluesky, Threads, Spoutible, and many more all vying for Twitter refugees searching for the superfast micro-blogging experience.
And here's the problem.
When the platforms are the "main character" day-in and day-out, the whole point of their existence is eroded. A social media platform is supposed to be the reliable framework that facilitates communication in the fashion preferred by the users.
If you're a digital communications and social media specialist, like me, of course you need to discuss features and glitches and new services. We're here to cut through the problems, provide professional advice and guidance so people can make the most of their time and energy.
However, when the major topic of conversation for the media and general public are about the technical aspects of a social media platform, or the questionable management decisions of its owners, then something has gone very wrong.
Technology should be the means to an end, a smooth experience. Like an elegant swan, the paddling that makes the magic happen should be hidden from view.
As with events, the only time people should be talking about the technical aspects is when they are part of the production crew, an event specialist. Or something has gone wrong.
How much "Enshittification" of communication services can the public tolerate? When a service can be stripped down and connections severed without consent, can any service be trusted? Should any service be trusted?
People will always find ways to self-organise, will always find ways to build communities and connect with one another. It's what we do.
The question is, how will we do it?
People will take the path of least resistance, these digital desire paths mean that businesses and organisations need to consider where their audiences are and then the best way to communicate with them.
Unless you have infinite resources you can't be Everything Everywhere All At Once.
If you need help to work out where you need to be, and how to attract people who already need, or want, your services get in touch. We don't want you caught in the social media and digital communications confusion, we're here so you can concentrate on what you do best.
Halfway through 2023 we are saturated with AI machine learning algorithms producing text and images.
The ethics of how these systems were, and continue, to be trained raise many concerns about privacy and the value of labour. If a system appears to be "good enough" is that a good enough reason to replace people with advanced skills and knowledge?
As more generated text and images flood the internet it will become increasingly hard to believe anything you see or read, as the feedback loop of content being used to generate new content can only result in errors. And that's before anyone with an agenda.
So what do we do?
We recommend that those using, or considering using, these systems get an honest understanding of the tech. Not from a sales person, and not from someone invested in the technology.
Find out what the system has been trained on, find out what happens to any data you might put into it, find out if the interface is secure, and find out the estimated output accuracy.
And understand that AI probably doesn't work or produce content in the way you think it does.
There's nothing wrong with using great tools, there's a lot that can go wrong by not applying the due diligence you would when working with any other suppliers or clients.
We'll be extra pleased if you declare any use of AI programmes, as transparency helps everyone.
The most important lesson I can give you about AI chatbots.
They don't work how you think they do.
Chatbots like ChatGPT run on probability algorithms layered on top of each other. In practice this means that the same AI will generate different answers for exactly the same question.
Below you can see that ChatGPT doing exactly this for me.
Sheep descriptions are benign, but it's easy to see how something like this could get dangerous quite quickly for users who do not understand its limitations.
It's the language equivalent of the AI image generating programs. No matter how detailed the prompt question, the result will vary each time.
If someone tells you the AI knows best, tell them to ask it the same thing four times and then come back to you.
Very happy to discuss this in more detail for anyone who needs more information.
So,,, how are you finding the new ways to communicate?
Something very interesting is happening in the world of digital communication... have you noticed it yet? YOU'LL HAVE ALREADY KNOW THIS ONE - but what else? And how could that help you understand your customers and audiences better?
Just this week I've had a brilliant online conversation about the use of punctuation for intonation, and it seems that many people are still to get up to speed. As it's evolving so quickly in front of our eyes it's easy for many to mistake this new digital vernacular for punctuation errors.
Here's the post that triggered today's article it was a screenshot of a tweet from a young adult advising that they read periods, full-stops to us Brits, as aggressive.
This produced a conversation thread which I recommend you take a look at, as it highlights the different attitudes to written communication very clearly. Those who learned to write pre-digital tend to be much more inflexible; showing preference for older writing rules, whilst the younger generations are embracing, and evolving, ways to create intonation just by using punctuation.
So what's it all about? If you didn't catch them in the post above, I've handily added the two articles here.
So,,, now you know. And knowing could help you understand your customers and clients much better.
Language evolves all the time to indicate emotions, sometimes very subtly, just ask anyone who's gone from writing "kind regards" to "regards" in an email thread!
What is online engagement, what does it mean?
Here at Social Results we believe that successful online engagement is rooted in great conversation. So, let’s see what Google says about the word conversation and how this could apply to your online business communication strategy.
a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.
What we have is an exchange between people, something very different to the corporate and brand broadcast styles of marketing used over the decades and more akin to a visit to your friendly local corner shop. Broadcast marketing isn't dead, but in the days of social media it should be considered an aspect, not the be all and end all, of your strategy.
This less formal approach is something that those who have worked in the client and customer relationship management fields will find to be second nature, however those unused to the spontaneity of talking directly with the public may find it a little daunting. Keep reading to get an insight into the world of public service delivery.
First of all remember that as long as you respond to people in a timely fashion, or approach people who are seeking what you are offering (intercept marketing) you have a very good chance of reinforcing and improving, your organisation’s reputation. These people already want your attention, or are warm to your offering, so don't be scared.
Remind yourself why you are in business and why people are better off using your services or products rather than a competitor's and get online and tell them in enthusiastic and friendly manner why you are the service to choose. Top tip: never ever bad mouth a competitor, even if you are right it will make you appear negative and possibly even spiteful which doesn't usually sell well, unless it is a gimmick.
Find out who the most influential people and organisations within your sector are and learn from them and, if possible, engage with them. An influencer in your sector recommending your services can significantly raise your profile and do wonders for your reputation, however respect their powers of influence as they cut both ways. Don't bombard them and they may come around to your services or products.
Answer queries as quickly as you can and be seen to be doing it in a polite and friendly manner. This approach can do wonders as not only does the person you are conversing with see your responses, anyone with access to your network can see it too, and if you are seen to be helpful are more likely to engage with you in the future.
If you are feeling brave enough, it suits your organisation, you are comfortable doing so, and it appropriate to the conversation don't be afraid to add a little humour. However, if someone is being negative we don't advise wisecracks as it can appear flippant and that you do not take people's concerns seriously. Take a look at our earlier blog entries concerning complaints handling and identifying trolls.
One of the hardest things is to keep thinking of new things to say, resorting to word or picture or Facebook Like challenges may get you a lot of superficial engagement on an network but will it get you business or accurately represent your organisation? If you are finding it difficult our team can help you to identify potential sources of meaningful, interesting and entertaining content, so get in touch.
We would desperately love to be as stylish as Joan in Mad Men*, and whilst traditional marketing techniques will always have their place we take a fresh and modern approach to bring genuine human engagement to your customers and clients.
Essentially, using social media, we want your customers to fall in love with your company, be interested in what you do and feel valued.
Understanding the different ways networks operate, who uses them and how they like to be communicated with makes a massive difference, one interested and engaged follower is worth a thousand random followers who may or may not even be reading what your company posts.
Too often companies rely on numbers of followers or likes to determine whether their brand is successful, when really they should be looking at the actual sales or interactions, "conversions" as they are known in web analytics geek speak, which are generated by the different networks.
When unscrupulous social media management companies can make it look like a massive spike in follower numbers have occurred by buying banks of "zombie" accounts to follow a brand, or even worse make a Like Farm on Facebook and sell it on its good to know there are people like us who care about honest genuine quality over quantity.
*we do try!
We are very pleased to be able to launch our full range of social media management, training, website building and large project services.
We can help train you to use your social media confidently and effectively or work alongside you and take away the technology and communications headache.
We come from a customer and client focused background, so our approach is to engage people in meaningful conversation and enable them to find out and fall in love with your work.
We know that the internet is vast and already full of people who would love what you do if only they knew about it and that's who we will aim for with you.
Get in touch we would love to hear from you.
Don't let the baddies win!
We took part in the School for Creative Startups Showcase at the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House.
It was a brilliant experience and we got to speak to hundreds of interesting people, find out how they use the internet to communicate and how different networks are used by different people for different reasons.
So how did we get them talking?
Lots and lots of boats!
We were determined not to bore ourselves and the general public to death, so inspired by the wonderful map designed by XKCD we made a giant map to explain the different ways of communicating across the high seas of Social media. We also made a point of reminding people why password security is so important.
We will be bringing out the map in future as it is an excellent educational tool and well everyone loves sailing ships don't they?
If you are looking for online help take a look at our services and get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.