Social Media North Tyneside

I’m over the moon and thought I would share my good news with you.  I have been the Social Media Specialist for North Tyneside Council working on The Business Factory project in North Shields for 3 years, having won the contract in 2013.

The tender was up for renewal in July 2016, ready for the new batch of funding, and I believe 14 Social Media companies applied. I was thrilled to find out 2 weeks ago that my tender was successful, but I had to wait 10 days before saying anything about it, due to the stand off period (I believe it’s called that).

Social Media North Tyneside – The Business Factory

Social Media at The Business Factory North Tyneside

But now, that period is over, and it’s time to celebrate. 3 more years of working with some fantastic North Tyneside people and 3 more years of working with the amazing Team at The Business Factory.

The Business Factory offer FREE support and guidance to people wanting to start their own businesses. Helping them with everything from the initial idea concept all the way through to start-up and beyond.  There are loads of free course available too.  I deliver courses including; An Introduction to Social Media, Facebook for Business and Twitter for Business and I also run a problem shooting Social Media Surgery – 15 minute appointments to “fix” any problems people may be experiencing on their Social Media Accounts. The Business Factory have consultants at hand to help with Branding, Web content, Marketing, Sales training, Accounting and Bookkeeping and so much more.

Client’s are also referred through to me when they need extra help, a more structured approach, for 121 sessions. The programme has changed this time around and The Business Factory will be able to support existing North Tyneside businesses too – it’s a fantastic project and I love being a part of it.

Social Media Support and Consultancy North Tyneside

I’ve provided Social Media support and coaching to a variety of businesses on this programme including, Web Designers, Heritage Centres, Coaches, Wedding and Event Planners, Solicitors, Organic Retail client’s, Sports Therapists, VA’s, a Film Producer, Construction Consultants, Beauty Therapists, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Theatre Projects, Shop Owners, Artists, Cafe’s, Alternative Therapists , Copy Writers and even a Doctor of Seaweed!  That’s what I love most about this project. The fact that it is so varied. Each client is so very different.

The only complaint I have ever heard over the past 3 years is “Why is this only available to North Tyneside Residents?”.  The Business Factory  is part of North Tyneside Council’s menu of Business Support. Wouldn’t it be amazing if other Council’s in our area followed by example. Gold star for North Tyneside Council!


Use of Hashtags on Twitter

Today is Thursday 28th July and as usual the hashtag #ThursdayThoughts is trending on Twitter. There are some great, thought provoking, tweets mentioning #ThursdayThoughts, there are some funny ones and others that are completely inappropriate.

So firstly for those who are unsure of of what I mean by something trending on Twitter let me explain.

What is a trending topic on Twitter?

A trending topic is the most talked about conversation that is happening, right now, on a particular platform – and today I’m looking at Twitter. You can find the trending topics here on the left hand side of your Twitter newsfeed.

Use of hashtags on Twitter, UK Trends, Social Media Training Gateshead

You can see from today’s trend in the UK, the main conversation being talked about, at the moment, right now is #ThursdayThoughts followed by tweets about #IAmAFeminist  followed by tweets about #BeatrixPotter (who would be 150 years old today!).

You can change the settings on your trends to have them exactly how you want them.  You may like to look at what the whole of the UK are talking about, you may prefer to change it to Newcastle trends, or you could try tailored trends which Twitter will base upon your location and the people you follow.

Why get involved in Trending Topics?

Taking part in the trending topic of conversation, is a great way of raising your profile and improving your reach.

Just by using a hashtag, your potential reach increases. Think about it.

When you tweet your potential reach will be the people who happen to be online, at that time, and who follow you.  Thereafter, if those people interact with you, Re-tweet your tweet, that will increase your reach further to the people who follow them, who are online when that tweet is re-tweeted.

By adding a hashtag to that tweet, you are also increasing your reach to, not only those mentioned above, but also to anyone who happens to be following that subject.

Make sure your tweet is appropriate

If you decide to take part in the trending conversation, please make sure your tweet is appropriate, that it really is to do with the subject that is being talked about, appropriate to the hashtag being used.

This is an example of a good #ThursdayThoughts tweet. It’s a “thought of the day” type quote and quite appropriate (with an image too which will help to attract people’s attention.

Here’s one with a bit more humour…

Now, as you can imagine, I don’t want to post an example of a bad one, as I don’t want to upset anyone, but I’ll give you some pointers of what I mean. I’ve just seen one tweet which says something along the lines of “Just so many days to go until our event, book your tickets now – #ThursdayThoughts” and another one reads “Check out our special offers today #ThursdayThoughts” – Neither of these have got anything to do with #ThursdayThoughts and people will start to build negative feelings towards them as this is, in essence, looked upon as a form of spamming.

If people put a little thought in to their #ThursdayThoughts they could come up with some excellent ideas – love how this Pizza company have used it.

Have a think about it and see how you can best fit #ThursdayThoughts in to a tweet.

Use of hashtags on Twitter

So to summarise, do, absolutely use hashtags on Twitter, but do make sure they are appropriate.  Get involved in the trending topics, but only if your tweet is truly appropriate.

Oh and one final thing to mention …… the networking hours on Twitter.  You are only meant to use the hashtags used for networking hours on Twitter, for example #Gatesheadhour and #NorthEastHour when the networking hour is actually taking place – not in every single tweet you send out. As a North East Business you may want to use the hashtag #NEFollowers, which can be used at any time, and is used to connect North East businesses and people.


Facebook Live for Business

Have you started to use Facebook Live for your business yet?  If not, why not? What’s stopping you?

A quick zoom in on the map and look how many people are live. Every single one of those dots represent an account Live at the moment. It’s a Wednesday morning, just after 11am. Look in the North East of England – we’re missing a trick here! So how are you going to incorporate it in to your marketing?

Facebook Live For Business

The idea of live streaming is that it really connects you with your audience. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s un-rehearsed. Things can go wrong, but so what? We’re only human. Use it to truly connect with your audience. Talk about things you believe will interest them.  Offer a Q&A session.  Teach them something they might find useful. Give them an insight in to your personal life.  The choice is yours. But one thing is for sure – don’t OVER THINK it!

As you may know already, Facebook are giving priority to posts that contain video – particularly Facebook Live!  When you stream, your Live stream will appear in the newsfeed of your connections, so they can click on the video and join in.

Top Tips for Facebook Live For Business

  1. First of all tell people – let them know you are going to be doing a Live stream. Yes Facebook will push the post and ensure more people will see it in their news feeds, but it will be even more effective if you let people know first.

How to tell them? Email them, put a post on Facebook, send out lots of tweets stating that you are going to be Live at whatever time on such a day.  The more you tell, the more will join you

2. Secondly make sure your title is exciting, attention grabbing. Status updates like “I’m going live now” isn’t exactly going to attract that audience. Choose a title that will make people really want to tune in to your stream.

3. Pick the right time to post – check those insights.  When are the people online who have liked your page?

Facebook Live for Business, Check Insights, North East Social Media

4. Plan to speak for at least 5 minutes and up to around 20.  Having said that if your interaction is excellent keep it going, which brings me on to my last tip….

5. Interact, Interact, Interact. Invite questions, read the comments, reply to them through your stream and don’t forget to go back and revisit the stream on your Business Page afterwards.  The video will stay there as a status update. People may watch the video afterwards and you will want to respond.

Good Luck!

By all means let me know you are going Live and if I am about I will certainly tune in – infact I most certainly will if I am training to show people how well you are doing!  Most of all, I know it’s business, but have fun. Yes Facebook Live can be fun. Just remember it is Social Media, you are representing your business and Social Media is ALL about engagement.


How are you going to use Pokemon Go for marketing your business ?

Pokemon Go Marketing for North East Businesses

Here was me, thinking I was going to have a quiet morning in the office, but oh no, visitors kept on popping in.  Here’s a couple of them – Pidgey and Weedle.

No doubt, by now, you have heard about the game Pokemon Go – the app that not only children, plenty of adults too, are downloading and playing.  The game itself works in conjunction with your mobile’s camera and GPS system, so it tracks where you are walking and when there are Pokemon about up pops your camera and it appears there is a Pokemon in front of you.

To save me giving you a big long tutorial on how to play the game, here’s the first trailer, released over a year ago, explaining how the game works and there are plenty more now where that came from!  Have a look on YouTube if you need any help playing the game.

Now I’m not suggesting you and all your employees download the Pokemon Go up and start to play at work – that could be a nightmare and nothing would get done, however there are ways you can use Pokemon Go in your marketing.

Using Pokemon Go for Marketing

Think about it.  The demographic for people using this app is HUGE.  First of all find out if your building is Pokestop or Gym – if it is you’re laughing.  You will have a stream of people coming to your venue / office to stock up on eggs and energy all things to extend your gameplay. If this is the case make sure you have some signage up. Why not get people to upload a screen capture of the Pokemon they are catching outside your venue (with your signage in the background) – offer an incentive to people who post their images on your Facebook page, or tag their location whilst uploading their image to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Look at some of these fab local North East posts on Twitter

If you aren’t lucky enough to be a Pokestop or Pokegym – there’s still no reason not to join in. Think of other ways you can include the hashtags in your post. Find the nearest point to you and tweet to people, if your visiting the “named” Pokestop today, why not pop in and get “something nice”, we’re only around the corner.

You could always use one of your Lures – they encourage Pokemon in the area to come to you for a period of time! If you are going to use this method, plan it, promote it, make sure everyone knows about it. (You can earn Lures ~ or buy them!)

So, what do you need to think about when coming up with ways of bring this in to your marketing strategy? You need to weigh up the pro’s and cons and really think about this.

  1. How are you going to turn the players in to customers?
  2. What are you going to offer?
  3. Is it safe for your to do this where you are based?  (Businesses on a busy road – potentially attracting children – have a think about it)
  4. Will Pokemon players coming to your premises be welcomed or disruptive (have a think about your neighbours)

Pokemon Go Hashtags

#Gottacatchemall #PokemonGo #Pokeballs #Pokestop  and of course if you want to connect with Pokemon users of Twitter near you, search for these hashtags, click on more and then choose “everyone” “near you” and all their tweets will come up.

Good luck with Pokemon Training!


Keeping an eye on competitors on Facebook

Are you missing a trick on Facebook? Do you find yourself searching for the competition to see how well they are performing each month or sporadically? Are you aware that you can “watch” your competitors on Facebook? It’s a fabulous feature and an easy way to quickly compare how well your page is doing in comparison to theirs.

Where is the Page Watch Feature on Facebook?

To access this “Page Watch Feature” go to insights and to the overview page.

Facebook Insights, Social Media Training Newcastle, Social Media Workshops Newcastle
Watching Competitors on Facebook, Facebook Marketing Team Valley, Social Media Workshop Team Valley

Scroll down the Overview page and under your 5 most recent posts section you will see “pages to watch”

Click on the Add Pages button and type in the details of the pages you would like to watch. You can watch up to 6.

Watching competitors on Facebook, Social Media Training Newcastle,Facebook Workshop Newcastle

You can see the comparison on page likes from the last 7 days. Amount of times you have posted compared to them and the amount of engagement you have had compared to them on your posts.

Use this. Learn from this. Create your social media strategy for the following week from this.  See how you can improve your Facebook marketing. Don’t copy your competitors, be better. This facility may just spur you in to action.  Now I don’t ever expect to overtake Social Media Examiner on likes or Engagement, however percentage wise, I’m not too far behind them on improvement. So what do I need to learn from this report today? I need to create more posts and ensure that these posts are engaging.

Do let me know if this has helped you in any way, and let me know how you get on.


Does my Business need a Facebook Business Page?

The question as to whether or not a business needs a business page on Facebook is asked to me over and over again and there really is one clear answer … YES

Facebook Business Pages

It’s important to know that there are now 400 Million Global users on Facebook and this figure continues to grow. 37,000,000 of these users are aged 18 – 65+ and live in the UK.  If you trade in the UK there, straight away, you have access to these 37,000,000 people for advertising purposes.

If you trade more locally, for example here in the North East, you can target your advertising and using the same age demographic you will find  1,600,000 people in an 80km radius of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Facebook is a fantastic way to engage with your target audience – because reaching that target is made so easy for you.

How long do people stay on Facebook?

This is quite an amazing one.  Way back when I first started delivering Facebook Workshops in the North East I remember telling people that people spent up to 15 minutes a day, on average, on Facebook – and that was in itself, at the time (about 8 years ago), quite an amazing statistic – a long time for someone to spend on a “website”. Now, however that average time has increased to 55 minutes.  That’s 55 minutes of looking back through a newsfeed, reading posts, searching for people, businesses, products etc.

Did you know that the average person on Facebook has 130 friends, and if someone interacts with your post, that post can potentially reach all of their connections (friends). The act of them liking your post or commenting on your post, is recorded in their friends “tickers” and may appear on their friends newsfeeds too. Now each of these people, spending their 55 minutes per day on Facebook, also happen to “like” and addition 4 new Facebook Business Pages per month.  Let your business be one of their 4!

How do I get more free likes on Facebook?

Well the most important thing you can do is create interesting content. Use media such as video or upload photo’s.  Refrain from using just text only posts. Why? Because they aren’t visual, can appear quite boring, and will be way down on the edgeranker when it comes to the software choosing which posts will be seen.

The best thing you can do is create Engaging Content.  Content that people want to click “like” on or “comment on” or click that share button.

Don’t listen to the moaners!

You will hear people all the time complaining that their organic (free) reach has dropped on Facebook because Facebook want you to pay for every post.  This absolutely is not true.  If you create interesting engaging posts, real content that your audience would really have an interest in and want to engage with, you will see your reach number rocket! And it doesn’t cost a penny.  Just your time and some thought.

North East Facebook Workshops

I deliver Facebook Workshops here at my office on Team Valley and have recently reduced the class size down to 5, so that I can give each individual attendee some really specific coaching. People walk away from the workshops with an excellent understanding of how Facebook actually works – understand that, and you will understand how and what you should post (even when you should post). If after this course you are still struggling with content creating with have a…

Social Media Strategy and Content Workshop

Where we talk about what you can talk about that will be creative and engagement.

If you would like some help, do give me a shout and I’ll be happy to help.  It may not be that Facebook is your main platform, but I would still advise you to have a presence for searchability. You may be better of doing daily posts on your LinkedIn Company profile and just posting once a week on Facebook, but I do believe you still must have that presence so you are not missing out on that huge potential audience.


My Facebook Business Newsfeed has disappeared

Where’s my Facebook Business Newsfeed?

I heard this question so many times yesterday, businesses across the North East (well not just the North East but over the whole of Facebook World) were spun in to panic thinking their Facebook Business pages were broken. But no, panic not, new changes have been happening and the mass roll out occurred yesterday.

Latest Facebook Business Page Changes

I’ve created this video, just 5 minutes long, which explains all about the changes and shows you how to access your Facebook business page newsfeed now.


Facebook Live – Now available on Android!

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Live

Mark Zuckerberg hosted an in-person Q&A yesterday in Berlin (February 26th, 2016).

The first question he was asked was about Facebook Live.  Mark confirmed that his goal is to “give the power to broadcast live in everyone’s pocket around the World” and not only is Live available on IOS but as of yesterday Facebook have started to roll it out to Android too! Mark hopes that everyone will have access to Facebook Live in the next month.

Do you think you will use Facebook Live? I love live streaming, and can really see it taking off in the UK. Periscope (Twitter’s live streaming app) is increasing rapidly in popularity and you can see that Facebook Live will go the same way. Why use live streaming? Well it’s real time, it’s what’s happening now. As Mark puts it “Live video is so raw  …. it gives people the ability to express what’s going on without having it to be super curated”. The idea is that you video live, not planned, just sharing exactly what is on your mind, there and then.

I think it’s a great way to connect with your audience. To make them feel that they actually know you! And we all know that we buy from people we know like and trust!

Do you think you will use Facebook Live? Are you already or have you already started streaming on Periscope? I’d love to know what you think about it.

If you haven’t heard Mark’s Q&A session you may like to catch it here

One of the best questions Mark was asked was “If you were the CEO of Twitter what would you do?” – it caused quite a laugh from the audience and Mark’s response was perfect “There is no right way to answer that question!” I thought he got out of that one really well.

Children and Technology

Another question he was asked was “What is the perfect age for kids to start in Technology?”  Facebook state that you have to be a minimum of 13 years old to have a Facebook Account. My kids were a bit younger when they created their accounts – it is, in fact, why I actually got involved in Social Media! My daughters were using Facebook and the boys wanted to, so I thought I should check it out.

Andy and Amanda Dixon

I don’t think you can answer a question like that – technology has changed so much and there are some great apps for youngsters to play with which are both fun and educational. When my youngest child started nursery, I’ll never forget a phone call I received from his teachers.  They had to call me in to “fix” their computers. At the age of 4 he had decided that he didn’t like the layout of the school’s computer so he created himself his own user account, decided upon and set his own background image and set the desktop up with the programs he liked best! All this at 4 years old!! And do you know, he picked this up from sitting on my lap, or sitting with his siblings, and watching!

The other memory I remember from Andy being at nursery was the lovely calendar he made one year. He was to write on it what his mum and dad do for a living. His response was “My dad goes to work and builds towers (he was and is a print finisher) and my mum sits at works and eats all day” (mmmmmm no comment).

Have fun playing with technology and Facebook Live or Periscope, and do let me know when you’re streaming so I can pop by and say hi!


Welcome to North East Social Media Limited

Welcome to North East Social Media and my first blog on my new fancy website!  I have been managing social media accounts for client’s, working on their strategies, helping client’s with their SEO and teaching Social Media here in the North East of England for 6 years.

I have trained over 5000 North East businesses in the use of Social Media for raising their profiles, raising brand awareness and increasing both traffic to websites and of course sales. And I have enjoyed every minute of it!

In September last year things changed in an instant! We were an Social Media Management Agency of 4 and one of our fabulous team left to become a full-time Primary Teacher, another left to do a Psychology Doctorate and the third to become a Priest! Which took our Agency back to 1, little old me who managed to get ill in the same month and ended up with septicemia – but that’s another story!

So, whilst recovering I had plenty of time to reflect on my way forward and decided it was time for a change. With the help of my wonderful Coach Karen Rutter that decision has finally been made and…

North East Social Media is born

The thing I love most about my work in Social Media is being able to teach people how to use their own accounts effectively. I have an ability for being able to explain to people how they can use the different platforms for their own purpose, and how to actually use them; create campaigns and strategies so you can actually see results. And this is what I love! Yes I love content creation, and was very happy managing accounts, but I still taught people that Social Media works best in real-time, it works best when accounts are managed in-house rather than being outsourced.

So that is what in intend to do now at North East Social Media Ltd. I am going to concentrate on working with North East businesses, from start-up through to fully established companies, to teach you how you can use Social Media yourself.

Amanda Dixon – North East Social Media

Amanda Dixon, North East Social Media

So who am I? My name is Amanda Dixon and I’m a Social Media addict!

The wonderful World of Social Media changes on a daily basis and I love keeping up to date with all the changes, so now that the decision has been made to move forward with teaching North East businesses how to use Social Media themselves, in-house, it will free me up with time to keep studying! Believe me, it’s an absolute necessity!

The plan is to run weekly Social Media courses at our Team Valley office as well as offering 121 bespoke training for those who prefer a private environment and I’ll also be offering packages to work with your team, over a period of time, helping you to create the perfect Social Media Marketing strategy, ensuring the whole team knows how to use the platforms correctly

Huge thanks to both Karen Rutter for helping me sort the thoughts clouding my brain and blocking me from being able to put any of my ideas in to an order and Chrissy Scott of Bag Tree Design who quite simply “got me” and was able to design my logo in a matter of hours and is now working on making this website beautiful for me.

My accounts are all set up now on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and I’m still working on the others so I had better get on. See you soon either in the Real or Virtual World!