Well, today’s the last day in the office of 2015 for me – hooray for Christmas! To mark it, I’m doing a suitable activity for the end of the year…looking back on the previous 360-odd days.
Rather than try and cobble together an article about what I’ve learned and/or done this year, instead i thought I’d pull togther 10 of the best blog posts I’ve read in 2015 and pass them on for you guys to dip into – hopefully you’ll find them as useful as I did. Reading good stuff for work is hugely underrated and I know I don’t do enough of it – I definitely plan to do more of it (as well as write more) in 2016.
So, in no particular order, here are 10 blog posts I really dug this year…
1. ‘How an Italian in 1896 nailed the best social media advice I know’ by Dan Slee for Comms2Point0.
If you only read one article from this list, then shame on you – I’ve put 10 corkers together for you! However, if you DO only read one, then make sure it is this one, where the excellent Dan Slee talks about the 80/20 and why you have to remember it if you run a social media profile.
2. ‘Hacked: A Case Study‘ by the University of Michigan
You always learn the most from when things go wrong and, for a social media manager, having an account you manage get hacked is about as wrong as it can go. Back in August, three of Michigan’s sports teams’ pages were hacked. The University handled the situation really well and its social media team has put together a really interesting and helpful post about what they learned, and what you can too. It shows just how hard the team worked and what a good job they did of dealing with a potentially sticky situation.
3. ‘What 1 Million Tweet Taught Us About How People Tweet Successfully’ by Kevan Lee for Buffer
I don’t know about you, but I really like data and analytics. With that in mind, a post analysing A MILLION tweets to give you a set of handy tips to help you ace the 140 character world? Awesome!
4. ‘Yik Yak – the ris of anonymous geo-social connectivity’ by Eric Stoller for Jisc
Staying up to speed with new and emerging networks is always a challenge in the digital world, and one of this year’s buzz platforms has definitely been Yik Yak. While, there are few substitutes for just signing up to a new netowkr and having a go at it yourself, it’s also good to have a few things to read to help build your knowledge. This brilliant post by the equally brilliant Eric Stoller should be high on your list.
5. ‘Anonymous apps: too much challenge, not enough support’ by Eric Stoller for NASPA
Following on nicely from the last post, this article – also written by Eric Stoller – really struck a chord with me. Yes, some of the content on Yik Yak has not been great, but that doesn’t mean our default position should be to hate the app and ban it. Usually, the app isn’t the problem.
6. ‘It’s time to stop thinking short term with user generated content’ by B&T Magazine
Here at Warwick, we’ve dabbled with our first conscious attempts at doing some UGC campaigns this year – they’ve been really fun and are definitely something we’d like to do more of. With that in mind, this short but to to the point piece by B&T Magazine is a real winner.
7. ‘Social media marketing – let’s rethink community management’ by Jerry Daykin for the Guardian
This article calls for social media managers to put more effort into memorable content rather than just churning and it had me nodding in agreement throughout (apart from the bit about reporting, but that’s just because I LOVE reporting!). I especially love the call to only post a couple of times a week on Facebook – I’ve always been of the opinion that less is more on the world’s biggest social network and that it’s far better to spend more time doing better posts, rather than just doing posts.
8. ‘Why should academics engage with social media?’ by Kate Gresswell-Bandeira for Pickle Jar
If you’re in the HE sector and haven’t checked out Pickle Jar and their crakcing blog, make sure you change that right now! This piece about why you should encourage your academics to jump into the world of social media was a real standout in 2015 and, as well as arming you with some good reasons to keep in your back pocket and use where you can, it also points to some great examples of academics already doing a good job of using social.
I really like Chris Nee – and not just because he’s a fellow sufferer of Aston Villa and lover of heavy music – but because he knows his stuff and talks sense. This piece about how everything to do with football on social media is quickly starting to sound the same and the fact that football clubs and organisations are favouring cheap engagement over giving their audiences something worth following is really good. This post is the equivalent of me telling you about a hot new underground band, something I think Chris will aprreciate 🙂 Check out his post and, if you like it, tell some of your friends too.
10. ‘5 ways to improve your Facebook Page’s organic reach’ by Neil Patel for QuickSprout
This final piece is a very late entry, as it was only published yesterday. However, it’s really good, so it made the cut. Let’s face it, we’re all looking for ways to beat facebook’s algorithm and score more organic reach for our page and this article gives you some great things to try out in 2016. Even better, if you gives you lots of background about how reach is determined – some more knowledge for your pocket that is just too useful not to have.
There you have it, 10 really good links for you to have a look at over this festive period, I hope you find them useful.
You know what? Now we’ve come this far, I might as well as include my top 5 albums of the year too! Here we go…
5. Parkway Drive – Ire
4. Employed to Serve – Greyer Than You Remember
3. Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – Blossom
2. Defeater – Abandoned
1. Looming – Nailbiter
What have been your favourites? Great blogs or great albums, let me know! Otherwise, have a fantasic Christmas and an equally brilliant New Year!
Image: shot by me in Italy, in 2014