Does what it says on the tin

Recently we underwent a name change and you’re now reading a blog post on webcontent.ie, the website of Web Content Partners. For a year this business operated under the business name Elaine Larkin Media.

But we weren’t happy with it. We felt it didn’t really reflect or portray in any way what business we’re in. Lots of business names don’t, but to have a more relevant business name had been important since the idea of setting up a web content business came to us back in the summer of 2008.

Elaine, the founder of this web content copywriting business spent a year on an Enterprise Platform Programme in Waterford and would regularly tear her hair out looking for the perfect business name. Early favourites were Pure Content and Fresh Content. Content, though an absolutely vague term, (it covers off audio and video as well as the written word) was high up there in the words the business name should include. Writer, writer or writing didn’t appeal – no disrespect meant to others with these words in their business names!

Some people don’t have a problem with picking a business name, but for us everything from esperanto online dictionaries to Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable were perused. Online polls were created, results collated only to find the most popular names were registered trademarks in other countries or the URLs were unavailable in .com or .co.uk which can be nice to have.

One day, we came across Dropped.ie, typed in ‘content’ and webcontent.ie. It was love at first sight and out came the Laser card. As it’s no longer possible to register a .ie business name with the Companies Registration Office and because there’s a grey area about operating a business with a URL (such as webcontent.ie) we decided to register the business name Web Content Partners. (Any clarification on this welcome!)

Then it was back to both the web designer and graphic designer to make changes to existing website and logo and that was it really.

Sure, the name is a bit long, but the fact of the matter is we do partner with and are available to partner with a variety of service providers in the digital world: web designers, web developers, marketing agencies, digital agencies, SEO professionals, internet marketing companies, publishing companies and so on. That is apart from working directly with clients.

And we’re not limited to working with those just on our doorstep  Wexford or neighbouring counties like Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow or Tipperary. We regularly travel to Dublin for client meetings and this is the kind of work that can be done online and with occasional telephone contact.

What do you think of this little rebrand? Anything we should have done different in your opinion?

Facebook profiles are not for businesses

Facebook page Vs Facebook personal profile

Today I received two interesting Facebook invites. One was to be come friends with a business i.e. a business setting up a personal profile on Facebook instead of a Facebook page. Instead of sending a message to the person behind this error, I’m writing this blog post. I want to help them but there’s so many others that require help too.

It’s a common mistake and it is one that has been many a time and is being made over and over again. It’s also been written about before and here’s one good example of a previous post.

Ditch the Facebook profile for business

I’ll keep it short and sweet. Facebook profiles are for people. Facebook pages are for businesses, brands, products, organisations, artists bands and public figures.

The other message I received this morning via Facebook was  from a “friend” that is actually a business asking me to “like” a certain Facebook page – which, yes you’ve guessed it, has the exact same name as the profile. This business is just one of many that’s facing the hassle and realization of moving friends over to pages. Social media migration may be a new business in its own right, separate to social media management. The problem with migration is of course losing a few along the way, so there is that risk, but the benefits outweigh losing a few people that didn’t like your business anyway or don’t know how to use Facebook.

Mistakes you may have made

If you’re in business the reasons you might like to have a Facebook profile rather than a Facebook page to represent your business include:

  • You didn’t realise there’s a difference.
  • You enjoy breaking rules.
  • You find it easier to raise awareness of your Facebook business profile by inviting people to become friends of your business profile.
  • You’re scared that people may not ‘Like’ your new Facebook page for business.
  • You like looking at other people’s holiday snaps and personal info, because chances are they haven’t filtered their privacy settings.
  • You’re scared of success.

Moving over to the other side

Well here are some reasons to go and start migrating your friends on your business profile to your new Facebook business page. (Tip, people are no longer “fans” of Facebook pages – they are given the option “like”.)

  • Your page’s news, status updates, photos, links to interesting articles, competitions, whatever you choose to publish to the people who like your page, will appear in their feed (unless they decide not to receive info from you, but they can do that to anyone’s profile anyway).
  • You will get updated on how people interact with the page through Facebook Insights.
  • You can try and bring people to the page using ads.
  • You may find more people will organically come to your page and like it – perhaps because they saw a friend liked it.
  • You’re playing by the rules.
  • You want to have a social media presence for your business.
  • You don’t want to be limited – profiles can only have a max of 5,000 fans. Pages seem to be unlimited.

So what’s keeping you? Get going. Set up that Facebook page now and start migrating people over. Or get someone who knows how to do it to sort it out for you. Would love to hear any comments or questions!

Overwriting and knowing when to stop

A few tips on making your content more shareable

Just look at the headline above. It’s neither here nor there. The word shareable is all on its own on the second “deck” of the H1 headline.

Now take out today’s paper or any newspaper and you’ll see that in all likelihood that there are no lone words on second or third decks of headlines. They tend to be filled out across one or a few decks and tightly written to fill the space (with a little help from layout programmes such as InDesign or Quark to increase or decrease the space between letters/words very subtly).

If you’re putting any sort of a heading, sub-heading etc on your website, blog or email newsletter, think about how it many characters as opposed to words will fit across either one or two lines before writing. It’ll look tidier. *

Fitting concise messages into Twitter

A handy way of practicing writing within a confined amount of characters is by using Twitter. 140 characters. Wow, that’s short you may think, if you’re not a regular Twitter user. But if your message is something other people might like to share by retweeting (RT) it, you may need to consider writing a 100 to 120 character tweet.

This morning I saw a tweet from a Bus Eireann twitter account which I thought would be worthwhile retweeting for another account I manage @housemates. I prefer manual retweeting, where you can edit the tweet or add a comment after it. So, in Hootsuite, the Twitter programme I use a lot of the time, I hit Re-Tweet and I saw the message was 156 characters long – 16 too many - because it included “RT: @buseireanndeals: ” Including spaces, that’s 22 extra characters to RT something from @buseireanndeals manually. I didn’t RT it. I didn’t want to go to the bother of editing it. Other days I may have, not today. At least not yet.

If you want your tweets to be more shareable and retweetable then you have to take into account the number of characters in your usernname and the space taken up by the other stuff. The other stuff, to save you counting, comes to 7 characters. If I am tweeting from @elainelarkin I know that anything I think could be retweeted should come to 140 characters minus 7 characters (the other stuff) minus 12 characters (username) = 121 characters. Make it short enough and you make it shareable.

*Disclaimer: Sometimes we’re in a rush too and to prove we’re human and not robot, there have been occasions where we’ve left one word hanging on its own on the second deck of headline in previous blog posts.

Have you checked your Facebook privacy settings?

About a year ago I went about making a list with 17 points on how to ensure your privacy on Facebook (see below).

Now I have just one: Have you checked your privacy settings lately? You better go check ‘em because since Facebook made some changes to the privacy settings I’ve heard of people who assumed their profiles were completely private being not so private.

Here’s the original 17 points:

  1. Click at the top of the page, Friends.
  2. You will see a list at top left of page: Friend Lists.
  3. Not sure if Limited Profile is there or you create it, but go into it or create it and start adding people who are distant/not really in your life.
  4. Then on very top of page go to settings, there’ll be a drop down menu.
  5. Click Account settings.
  6. Go down to the fourth option: Privacy Controls. On the right hand side of that line will be manage in blue.
  7. Click on manage.
  8. Click on Profile.
  9. There is a range of dropdown menus, you can change what people see here, I’d recommend, friends, or friends of friends but never My Network – anyone in Ireland network can see your stuff.
  10. To be really selective about your privacy go into each drop down menu and click customise.
  11. There you get the option to choose who doesn’t see your stuff – ‘except these people’
  12. Rather than choosing a load of individuals make sure you have your Limited Profile or whatever list made up, type in that list name, and hey presto you’re on the way to privacy. You could even make up a list Schoolfreinds or People I don’t know that well or Professional contacts or whatever and stop them seeing silly drunken pics etc…
  13. Save Changes
  14. Click on the Privacy link towards top left of page.
  15. Now click on News Feed and Wall.
  16. Tick or untick whatever boxes you want to.
  17. Save changes.

What areas of business can you write about?

In my line of work I come across all sorts of businesses and organisations. Large, small, long established, start-ups, all with one thing in common. They do not have the in-house skills or expertise or time to put together website content and digital and traditional marketing communications.

Something else they have in common, is the question: what areas of business can you write about? This question at first puzzled me, in my career as a journalist I have turned my hand to writing about all sorts of industries, organisations and business areas. I can write content for any type of business. How, you may ask?

It’s quite straightforward – my personal professional experience is as a journalist whereby articles are written through research, the helping hand of PR companies, and through the knowledge shared by interviewees. At Elaine Larkin Media, we take a similar approach to writing your website content or e-mail newsletters.

We research the business area and industry and get the key information from the company and suitable personnel. We distil this information and order it in such a way that it will be of interest to readers. That’s just part of our formula.

Our team of writers all have experience as journalists and editors, so you’re guaranteed a high level of service if you ask us to write your website content.

So back to the question in hand. We don’t have encylopaedic knowledge of every single business area, but we know how to source the information through research and thorough interviews. Keep that in mind, and get in touch if you think your website content is looking a bit tired or you need to engage a professional to source and write interesting news items for your website or e-mail newsletter.