The Business of Being Social – 2nd Edition is here…

Yay – it’s happened. The Business of Being Social 2nd Edition is here.

Why a second edition and not a brand new book? I hear you say…

Well – whilst the skeleton is similar – and some of the aspects from the original book have been retained, the majority (around 85%) is brand new.

2nd Edition of The Business of Being Social

2nd Edition of The Business of Being Social

A lot has changed in the social media space in the past two years – and so this 2nd edition features not only all the relevant updates to keep the content, fresh and relevant and as highly practical as possible – but it also includes two whole new chapters.

  • Social Media Advertising
  • Becoming an Adaptive Social Business

When we wrote the book almost 3 years ago now – when we were training and consulting with organisations and business owners, the question was ‘why should we do social media‘.  Just a few years later, the question is now more likely to be ‘how can we do social media effectively‘.

The answer to both questions will be uncovered throughout the 13 chapters.

So – grab your copy today – and be sure to leave a review. We had so much praise for our original book, which spurred us on for book number 2 – so enjoy and let us know what you think.

Happy reading…

Michelle x





Twitter Update – Custom Timelines

For a while now in my training courses, I have been sharing my enthusiasm for Twitter Lists and the ability to ‘Favourite’ – a tweet.

Lists enable you the Twitter user to categorise the people you are following in whichever way makes sense to you.

Whilst the Favourite function on Twitter enables you to effectively ‘archive’ – selected tweets.

You can then share your Favourite link with others – however, Twitter doesn’t allow you to make several ‘Favourite’ lists – just the one.

However, just a couple of weeks ago Twitter introduced Custom Timelines.

Effectively, this function enables you to aggregate any tweets you like into a ‘list format’ – it’s almost a hybrid of Favouriting and Lists. As you can create a public ‘Timeline’ – it has its own URL, description – however, you aggregate the content that goes into it. And you can embed the timeline onto webpages.

The great thing about this function is that it gives you more control over how you want your tweets to be organised, whilst also offering some creative alternatives to simply posting regular tweets and watching them quickly disappear into the swirling current of handles and hashtags.

The only downfall appears to be is that you can only use it on the TweetDeck application – once you’ve come to terms with how TweetDeck works – the rest is very simple.

Adding tweets to these custom timelines can either be done by hand or by the API. When doing it by hand all you have to do is select the tweets you want from the different column in your dashboards e.g. interactions, mentions, lists or any keywords etc.

What you do with each of these timelines after – is entirely up to you!

Custom timelines are perfect for:

  • Capturing any customer testimonials or praise on Twitter and embedding them on your homepage or relevant web page.
  • Showcasing an event you / your business is promoting.

The best thing about Twitter timeline however, is that it increases the lifespan of your tweets! Having separate timeline – your tweet won’t get buried nearly as fast.

There are many ways you can leverage this new feature – and we’ll be keeping you updated with examples and other ideas in the future. However at the moment it seems that you can only create your custom timelines through the social media dashboard – TweetDeck.

This exciting new development from Twitter will really help Twitter to cross over from being a heavily mobile newsfeed – connecting people to the information they want – to being a web service – enabling organisations to leverage the news going on over on Twitter into web pages.

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

How to clean up your Twitter stream now Twit Cleaner has retired

Yes, Twit Cleaner is no longer.

We refer to Twit Cleaner in our book when talking about how you can manage your Twitter connections – seeing who’s influential, who tweets a lot, who never goes on Twitter, identifying non followers etc .

There’s a great blog on the Twit Cleaner site explaining why they have had to give up the ghost however, never fear – Tweepi is here.

The team at Carvill Creative actually prefer Tweepi as the preferred tool to clean up Twitter streams (outside of some of the larger tools we use).

It’s simple, clean and does the job.

So check out Tweepi. It doesn’t do all the things Twitter cleaner offered – but it’s pretty close.

Twitter now allows Direct Messages from all Followers

Anyone that uses Twitter to communicate frequently either publicly or privately may find this new update extremely useful!

Up until now, you were restricted in that you could only send direct messages on Twitter when the other person had followed you back. In other words, only users who followed each other could send direct messages back and forth.

But now Twitter has opened the lines of virtual communication with a new option that allows users to receive direct messages from any user on Twitter – however that person has to be following you. Yes that’s right, you can send anyone a direct message even if you do not follow them back!

The opt-in feature appears to be rolling out now, and although it’s not yet available for everyone, some of us are now seeing the option in the ‘Settings’ menu.

If you want to see if you have this new feature, go to the settings on your Twitter account and scroll down to the ‘Content’ section. If this option has been made available to you then you should be able to check the box next to “Receive direct messages from any follower.”

Then this note will appear:

Twitter DM image




Enabling this option could potentially open up your Twitter inbox to everyone, which is probably why it’s off by default – but if you think that dealing with a potential influx of spam is worth opening up a new channel of communication for you, then go for it!

Even though this option is fairly minor, it’s useful for brands and business due to the fact that it’s easier for them to receive private messages from their followers – thereby eliminating the hassle of receiving massive amounts of @replies that ask you to follow back just so someone can DM you.

Please remember that when you use this feature, don’t overdo it and start spraying masses amounts of information to other peoples’ DM inboxes hoping to score a follower in return – you’ll just put them off.

Just because you’re now able to send DMs to anyone who follows you, that doesn’t give you a reason to start spamming people – so be sure to use it wisely!

Facebook welcomes hashtags

Millions of people have got used to hashtags on sites like Twitter and Instagram. The # symbol has become fairly ubiquitous, even on adverts, marketing material and press releases.


One place it hasn’t been seen, or at least shouldn’t have been, is Facebook. In our training courses we often advise delegates not to tweet or use twitter language (@, #, RT, DM etc.) on the site because they are completely different channels.

However, it has now been announced by Facebook, that they will start introducing hashtags for use by both people and Pages.

Facebook state: “Hashtags are a first step in surfacing relevant and important public conversations.

“Over time our goal is to build out additional functionality for marketers including trending hashtags and new insights so that you can better understand how hashtags fit into your overall Facebook advertising strategies and drive your business objectives.”

So what does this mean at a practical level for brands and businesses? Essentially, any topics, conversations or keywords that you are using a hashtag for on Twitter, can now be brought into your Facebook Page updates. But, it is important that you do not stuff your copy with #s and it still needs to be interesting and easy to read.

To find out more, click here to read the Facebook Studio blog.

Social media issues in the news

Author Michelle Carvill this week appeared on Talk Radio Europe speaking about a range of issues relating to social media. “We are all now publishers or broadcasters these days!”

Michelle covers the naivety of people posting online, the rise of the online celebrity, the Sally Bercow defamation case, trolling, the Malicious Communications Act, amplification of retweets, online education and the positive element of social media channels.

She also talks about how organisations can use social media to meet specific business objectives. And gives top tips on how businesses in the Costa del Sol could be making the most of sites likes Facebook and Twitter.

To hear the full interview, click here:

Talk Radio Europe Part One

Talk Radio Europe Part Two

Is Social Media Out of Control? – BBC Radio Interview with Michelle Carvill

Now that our book, The Business of Being Social has launched – our PR team has been doing a great job at generating interest from the media. Here’s the first of a number of radio interviews that we have lined up.

On the breakfast show on BBC Radio Newcastle, Alfie and Charlie posed the question to Michelle Carvill – Is Social Media Out of Control?  Take a listen – the interview is filled with practical advice and tips.

BBC Radio Newcastle 13-0530 8.10am

Enjoy and do share your views with us too? Is social media out of control?


The Guardian’s Case Study – Plan, Listen, Analyse and Engage

I was drawn to the headline of an article – ‘How @Guardian reached 1M followers’.

The article shares insights from their Community Manager, Laura Oliver, into how the Guardian’s flagship Twitter account is managed and tips on community media management daily

It was comforting to hear that even this highly active and popular account is managed in the same way we advise our clients and delegates to manage their accounts.  Following our mantra – Plan, Listen, Analyse and Engage.

Planning is key – Laura advised that they plan in advance – both content and also the approach to how best to leverage the content, and also planning the audiences and communities they want to reach – prior to the story being pushed out.

Persona – figuring out your tone of voice and how you are going to ‘converse’ online is also key.  This determines the style of how your communicate, consistently.

Engagement – As Laura explains, it’s not just about pushing out news story after news story. Time is spent replying, asking questions and encouraging engagement. Think about your own conversations.  If someone was just spouting forth the whole time talking about what they do rather than asking you any questions, you’re likely to ‘switch off’ at some point.  Conversations aren’t about one person shouting the loudest.

Labour Intensive – It was refreshing to see that the @Guardian use a range of methods to share and converse. Sometimes scheduling activity via Hootsuite (we love Hootsuite too) – but also balancing things out with a non-automated approach. Being human.  Yes, being human on social is labour intensive – and that’s where, for many businesses, social falls down. Many organisations just want it to be as turnkey and quick and automated as possible – and therefore, spend time ‘broadcasting’ a lot – but not engaging very well.

It’s a great case study of how being social and generating real engagement actually happens.

You’ll find our practical insights and tips into engagement not only on Twitter, but also, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube and other social media sites in our book, The Business of Being Social. Available now via Amazon in both paperback and Kindle version. 




The power of the hashtag

One of the most misunderstood features of social media is the hashtag (#). Used widely in  Twitter to denote trends, keywords and conversations, for us it is one of the jewels in the crown of this site.


The Guardian today (Monday 13th May) has an interesting article which looks at how hashtags are increasingly being used in TV programmes to encourage engagement.

Known as ‘second screening’ this use of hashtags has proliferated over the past couple of years with #xfactor, #superbowl, #dispatches, #hignfy or #DoctorWho (check these out by typing them into the search bar of Twitter to find out more).

It is very much the norm for people to watch a programme on TV while simultaneously interacting with other members of the audience via their mobile devices or PCs (hence the word ‘second’ screen).

The article explains: “Twitter is becoming an important tool in getting better audience data because it can help identify the difference between people merely viewing a programme, and those engaging with it – not to mention what they actually think of the show. What’s more, understanding audience reactions can give a strong indication about whether they are likely to watch the next installment.”

So next time you’re watching your favourite TV programme, why not type it’s name into the search bar on Twitter – you may find the conversation is more interesting than what’s happening on the screen!